Saturday, 17 October 2020

Unconscious Bias & Subtle Acts of Exclusion

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

On Saturday, 10th October, we were all invited to the Baby Shower for Hannes and Katya Dressler at their lovely new home in Westcliff.  Below the cot filled with gifts for the coming baby.

What should have been a tea and snacks afternoon, turned into a social braai where the usual New Dawn vibe was very much evident!

Part of the happy gathering on the "stoep with view"

Strategic Plan - Please note that Julian has requested feedback on the Strategic Plan that was sent out to members.  Please email any comments or suggestions.

Speaker for next week will be the Corporate Social Investment Manager from Hollard, Lynette van Vreden.  

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

No comments:

Post a comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.