Posted by: alysonlmorris | October 22, 2019

Implicit Bias or Just Bias?

Early this morning, the HuffPost’s Business section released an article reviewing a training seminar at the well-known accounting firm Ernst & Young (EY). The seminar, entitled Power-Presence-Purpose or PPP was envisioned to provide powerful leadership skills for women in the workplace. The seminar which took place back in June of 2018 recently underwent scrutiny when contents of the leadership course surfaced from a former employee and attendee of the seminar. The general take-home message seemed to emphasize women’s need to cater behavior and appearance in the workplace to gain leadership within the company. EY did not agree with the characterization of the seminar in the press release from HuffPost. However, EY did state that they were no longer offering the same training any longer (Peck, 2019).

By disagreeing with the article it would seem that EY’s believes their construction of the empowerment seminar was an implicit or unintentional bias. The organizers were simply interpreting the situation through learned behaviors from past experiences. But the question to pose then is where does the line between implicit and intentional bias fall. Implicit bias is one that is automatic and often not consciously thought of, but in the case of the EY seminar, this curriculum was thoroughly thought through prior to presenting and still displayed an inherent bias towards women in the workplace.

References

Peck, E. (2019). https://www.huffpost.com/entry/women-ernst-young-how-to-dress-act-around-men_n_5da721eee4b002e33e78606a?ncid=APPLENEWS00001. [Blog] HuffPost. Available at: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/women-ernst-young-how-to-dress-act-around-men_n_5da721eee4b002e33e78606a?ncid=APPLENEWS00001 [Accessed 21 Oct. 2019].


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