Because of affinity bias, we often gravitate toward people like ourselves—and may avoid or even dislike people who are different. Affinity bias plays out in several ways in the workplace.
(upbeat music) - Two quick reminders before I get started. First, people of all genders fall into bias traps, not just men. Knowing that unconscious bias exists isn't enough. We need to look for it and commit to take steps to counteract it. Affinity bias is what it sounds like. We gravitate towards people who are like ourselves, people who are similar in appearance, beliefs, and background. And we tend to avoid and even dislike people who are different from us. Affinity bias plays out in several ways in the workplace. In studies, mentors say they're attracted to proteges who remind them of themselves. Hiring managers are more likely to spend time interviewing people who are like them and less time getting to know people who are different. Not surprisingly, they are more likely to give people like them a favorable evaluation. Because white men hold more positions of power and are more likely to gravitate towards other white men, affinity bias has a particularly negative effect on women and people of color. They can end up getting overlooked or left out. Now you know how affinity bias works. As a next step, you can use our bias cards to learn specific ways it shows up in the workplace and what to do about it. (upbeat music)