Join Lori Mackenzie for an in-depth discussion in this video Small decisions for greater change, part of Women Transforming Tech: Breaking Bias.
- People often ask me, "What's something I can do tomorrow? "How can I create a small win now?" It turns out we don't realize how many decisions we're making all day, decisions about whose desk to stop by, who to write an email to, whose advice to ask for. All those small decisions we make every day can be prone to bias. We might gravitate towards someone who seems like a leader versus the someone who is the true expert. So being aware about these small decisions we're making and asking one simple question, "What criteria will I use to decide who to count on, "who to go to, who to tap?" If you first ask what criteria am I going to use, hm, the person who needs an assignment the most, the person who has the most expertise, the person who hasn't been given a chance. If I first think about the criteria, then I jump to that decision. I am more likely to make that decision based on the true abilities and opportunities needed for a person, then what the stereotypes will predict. So the small win, I say, is at least once a day, think, "Why am I gravitating towards that? "What criteria am I using?" You will find that your habits will slowly change. You'll become more thoughtful, and one small step at a time, work towards being the kind of person that is more inclusive and has more people rise. Sometimes people say to me, "Well, I'm not the boss, I don't get to allocate resources. "I don't get to decide who goes to things." And I often say, "You can still ask strategic questions." You can say, "Oh, what criteria are we using "to decide who goes to the conference this time?" "How are we making a decision about who gets to present?" So even if you're not the one making a decision, not the one deciding who gets to do things, you can still ask what criteria is being used. And in asking that, you'll find a moment of reflection, and maybe an opportunity to change how that decision is made, even if you're not the one making it.