This weeks meeting took the form of another hybrid meeting, with some members at the Parkview Golf Club and others online. Our Guest Speaker was Bridget Von Holdt, Business Director at BCW Africa. Bridget's experience in Public Relations spans over 30 years, and she is known for her vision to see beyond the conventional in the communications industry.
|Bridget von Holdt (Source Facebook)|
Bridget gave a fascinating talk on Unconscious Bias in our lives. Unconscious Bias influences our decisions and behavior in ways so subtle that they completely escape our notice. It affects our implicit attitudes, action or decisions. It causes an automatic evaluation without being aware. It is a product of culture, family influence or experience, and these manifest themselves as micro-behaviors.
To counter unconscious bias, you need to be intentional about disrupting bias. This involves giving yourself more time for decision making, question your first impression and check if it is based on assumptions. It is important to create a culture of calling out bias by empowering others to call it out.
With the background of our history it is important to be conscious of various terms - privilege, prejudice and power in our society. "Equality is giving everyone a shoe. Equity is giving everyone a shoe that fits".
Two interesting case studies where bias showed up in marketing and communications materials were demonstrated - H&M's "Coolest monkey in the jungle" sweatshirt ad and the recent Tresemme Hair product campaign.
It is important that each of us examine our own bias in various areas of our lives; be they Internal, External, Cultural or Organisational.
|New Dawn members practising social distancing|
|Part of the happy gathering on the "stoep with view"|
Quote for the week: "Words are things. You must be careful about calling people out of their names .... Someday we'll be able to measure the power of words. I think they are things. They get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper. They get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally into you." Maya Angelou: 1928 - 2014