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Brandon Miller Quoted on Unconscious Bias at the NC Tech Summit

Diversity Chair and manager, Brandon Miller presented this past week at the North Carolina Technology Association hosted Diversity and Inclusion in Tech Summit. Brandon Miller’s presentation was after quoted in the Charlotte Business Journal around unconscious bias in the workplace and diversity and inclusion. An excerpt from the article is included below.

…She said diversity and inclusion have progressed with each generation. Generation X cracked into diversity, noticing those differences among employees. Millenials took it a step further with inclusion to make those differences count, Solomon said. She said Generation Z is taking another step forward with conversations about equity – being intentional about the identified differences.

Solomon noted an ageism problem in the tech industry. Those companies tend to hire younger workers, although studies show older workers can provide just as much value. She said the industry needs to manage these biases, intended or not.

Unconscious bias was a big topic at one of the Summit’s breakout sessions. Unconscious bias happens when people buy into stereotypes without realizing it.

There are more than 150 types of unconscious bias, said Brandon Miller, manager and diversity chair at Clarkston Consulting. One example is similarity bias – people prefer what is like them. Miller said Clarkston hosts bias training, where employees discuss how experiences affect their behavior or how culture shapes their world view.

People do not like to be told they are wrong, Miller said.

“You don’t see it until you see it, and then once you see it, you start seeing it everywhere you go,” said Alex Manzo, a front end developer at Savas Labs. ” i think one of the biggest things is surrounding yourself with people with diverse viewpoints and different life experiences.”

…Leaders need to hold each other accountable on transparency. They need to ask a lot of questions. She encouraged companies to publish applicant data to reveal any gaps in the pipeline, for example. Transparency will help companies have the tough conversations and make more progress. It will also allow employees to see visible changes.

Read the full article highlighting diversity and inclusion here.