Team Name: All-Inclusive
Project Title: All-Inclusive
Unconscious biases, also known as implicit biases, are the underlying attitudes and stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. Residing deep in the subconscious, they are often unconsciously attributed to another person, or group of people, and affect how we perceive and engage with that person or group. These biases are activated involuntarily and without any awareness or intentional control, and they are different from known biases that individuals may choose to conceal for the purposes of social or political correctness. Some examples are sexism, colorism, ageism, and ableism.
Unconscious bias affects workplaces and organizations by causing unintentional discrimination, which results in poor decision-making. They hamper equal opportunities for marginalized groups in terms of selection and progression to high-level management and leadership roles, and they are huge setbacks in creating a truly diverse and inclusive workplace, since it has been proven that such biases have a significant impact on recruitment, mentoring, and promotions.
Despite the fact that these biases are unconscious, they aren’t hardwired into our brains––they emerge from the information that we see around us, such as our upbringing, where we have grown up, the social structures that we have been a part of, what kind of people and groups we have been exposed to, what kind of ideas have had an impact on us, and what we see in media around us. Therefore, we can decrease bias by acknowledging and educating ourselves about them: that’s where we come in.
Here at All-Inclusive, we value the power of connection. Often, biases are formed because of generalizations based on limited or flawed information, so our mission is to bring awareness to the existence of these biases and to encourage people to seek more knowledge on what the biases are, when they form, and how to prevent them. We want to show how the world we live in is built upon a cycle that continuously perpetuates both implicit and explicit biases, but we can break that cycle through self-reflection, community action, and most importantly, collective empathy and understanding.
Our website focuses on first, informing people about the types of conscious and unconscious bias and how they can affect major decisions and systems. We provide concrete ways for people to inwardly reflect on their own biases and stop their proliferation. Even further, we give solutions for communities and businesses to create diversity, equity, and inclusion on a larger scale––because despite all the good individual change can bring, these biases are deeply rooted in our society, so systemic change is one of the most effective ways to counter them. Thus, our website is key to educating those unaware of subconscious biases and creating a more self-aware society that includes the voices of even the most vulnerable.
When our team took on this project, we had no idea the insight we would gain. Learning the intricacies of the world, and how our identities can affect the challenges we face is an eye-opening experience. As we interviewed individuals from different backgrounds and cultural experiences, we realized the scope of this issue. People from different parts of the world, different socioeconomic backgrounds, and different beliefs all feel isolated in their communities. Learning about these interactions allowed us to reflect upon our own actions and gave us even more motivation to pursue this project.
However, our endeavor wasn’t simple. We tasked ourselves with delivering a message of inclusion through our work, so making sure we could convey a large range of research, interviews and expert input, all while keeping the information easily readable was a challenge. Coupled with the pandemic making communication and organization harder, building our website from scratch was no easy feat. Some days were harder than others, with all of us juggling busy schedules, but we made it work and the end result was better than we could’ve imagined.
What made this experience even more rewarding was the fact that this research is something that could visibly enact change, in ourselves and others. We all come from a community of different cultural backgrounds, so being able to show our friends and families what we had worked on for months, something that finally acknowledged the flaws in the system that have caused so many to suffer, was beautiful. It’s moments like this that made our research into subconscious biases, a global issue, all worth it. All-Inclusive is a company and website we all believe in, and we know has the power to change the world, one click at a time.