Ditching Our Implicit Biases

Let's Ditch Our Implicit Biases At The Door Before We Come Into The Workplace

Many of today's workplace disparities stem from implicit biases that we hold in relation to age, gender, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion and other facets of individuality


Yale defines implicit bias is defined as "unconscious attitudes, reactions, stereotypes, and categories that affect behavior and understanding." Implicit biases are rooted deep in our unconscious and are often difficult to fix.

I recently took the Harvard's Implicit Bias Test to identify some of my own implicit biases as they relate to race in healthcare for my "Exploring Health Professions" class. In truth, I was shocked with my own results despite my conscious efforts to be more accommodating of others and their ideas. Within healthcare, implicit biases can affect the health care provider's ability to provide adequate care for a population, particularly those who are underrepresented or come from a low socioeconomic background. The sooner we can address our biases, the sooner we can elevate the level of care that we provide to patients.

One of the greatest concerns voiced in today's workplace is "workplace discrimination," and the root cause of this problem stems from implicit biases. Workplace discrimination is what happens when our implicit biases go unchecked. The majority of the decisions made in the workplace are on a short timescale, leaving us susceptible to resort to the quickest form of decision making which is often heavily influenced by subconscious implicit biases. While fixing implicit biases might seem like an unfamiliar, and relatively new concept for many of us, it's not too different from another one of our automatic responses.

I equate biases with habits and as a result, there are two major steps: address your biases and motivate yourself to change.

The American Association of University of Women (AAUW) lists three effective ways we can fix our implicit biases. In summary:

1. When assessing an individual, focus on concrete facets of their performance as opposed to what your "gut feeling" might be leading you to believe.

2. Think of all the people who violate stereotypes in a dynamic way, and do your best to remember the positive examples. This idea is known as counter-stereotyping and lets these positive thoughts populate your mind the next time you are in a similar situation.

3. Make a commitment to increasing the diversity of the people whom you are around but also focus on the inclusion of those groups of people. Working with people whom you may have implicit biases against will help you individualize and personalize interactions to reduce implicit biases.

The adage, "If I didn't see it, it didn't happen," sadly applies to many of our own implicit biases. The dominant mentality is, "If I don't address implicit biases, I don't have them," and this ignorance is the root of many of our societal problems. In our increasingly diverse and open-minded society, there simply isn't enough room for us to harbor implicit biases. Currently, the landscape on research regarding how implicit biases may be affecting sectors of society is developing, but until it has crystallized, our best bet is to individually work on reducing our implicit biases.

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25 Tips To Being A Professional Basic White Girl

"I literally can't even."

Ahh, white girls. The trademark of Starbucks, Uggs, iPhones and a lot of other extraneous things in life. Yes, us white girls do have our moments, but from one basic white girl to another, let's help each other out.

1. When you go outside to tan, read a Nicholas Sparks novel to sob too. Your lonely tears will cool you down from the tanning oil burning your white skin.

2. When you have to fight the urge to go to Starbucks every day, tell yourself that the $4.99 can go towards a Pumpkin Spice latte in the Fall when you absolutely NEED it.

3. If you are often stressing about having nothing to wear, donate the clothes you wouldn't be caught dead in anymore and treat yourself to shopping. To fill the empty void in your heart and your closet.

4. It is better to be a confident bitch rather than a self-conscious bitch.

5. Take the pictures. You'll regret it when you're reminiscing and don't have anything to post on your Instagram story.

6. In the current age of cyber stalking, opt to stalk your crush's location on Snapchat maps. If he is on ghost mode, the boy has something to hide. Stalking payments on Venmo is also a stealthy move since every broke 20 something needs to get their money ASAP.

7. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Unless you walk into a dive bar filled with creepy old men.

8. Be nice to everyone you meet until they give you a reason not to. You can then destroy them with your killer looks and secret evil antics.

9. Friendzone your guy friends to show them you have standards so that they can hook you up with their more appealing friends.

10. Carry a charger at all times. In the case of an emergency or that snap, you are in dire need of taking.

11. Save up and buy yourself the gifts you want. That way, it shows your significant other that they are replaceable but Chanel isn't.

12. Whenever you are feeling down, just remember you aren't as hated as Jenny, Vanessa, or Georgina from Gossip Girl.

13. Turn up the volume on the highest setting in your car so that when you are singing along to Despacito, you cannot hear your own screeching.

14. Cry for a good time after a break-up, but then get angry. Women respect an angry post break-up woman and men fear it.

15. If something isn't going your way, annoy whomever you must until they give in and you get what you want. Works every time.

16. Use the buddy system at all times. It doubles as not looking like a loner and having a friend you can boss around to take pictures of you.

17. There is no shame in having a year round Christmas wish list on Amazon. No one could possibly remember all the things you want.

18. The only acceptable time to scream out 'Daddy' is when you need him to come kill a spider.

19. Perfect your fake laugh so people won't question if you find them funny or not.

20. Avoid saying sorry when you have nothing to apologize for. You aren't a Justin Bieber song.

21. When you've been drinking and start to think it's a good idea to show off your dance/gymnastics/cheerleading skills from high school, don't. Just don't.

22. Plan your Halloween outfits months in advance. That way it's cheaper and you won't have to resort to being a nerd, hot cop, cow girl or a sexy cat, like every other girl who waited to the last minute.

23. Spend time with your family and appreciate them. Nobody likes a girl that pretends she is close with her grandparents when in actuality, she only speaks to them on holidays.

24. Keep your life clean. Every few months unfollow and unfriend random people from high school and that girl you secretly hate but stalk regardless. Clean feed, happier you.

25. If any relationship is hurting you, boyfriend, family or friend, listen and watch Lemonade by Beyonce. Remind yourself how bad of a bitch you are and remember, "Get a bigger smile on my face, being alone".

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I Want My School To Be As Diverse As Their Advertisements Claim They Are

Several campuses pride themselves on a wide range of individuals who attend their institutions, but what is the reality versus the things we see?


When deciding on a college I wanted to know what I was going to be getting myself into for 4 years. I watched so many videos of Boise State Universities campus to find out what I had to look forward to. I was from a smaller town in Southern California so I was very used to the amount of diversity in my school and basically whole life at that point. I am a White Mexican-American female and while growing up in my city, I was a part of the minority of white individuals. I always wanted a campus who would represent me, or I could see myself at. I looked at so many ads before I did a campus tour and looked at stacks of brochures scattered across my room with my sister. I saw people who looked like the friends I had throughout my life, my family, and most importantly myself.

I took two tours of the campus and noticed that there was a lack of the people I saw on the brochures on the actual campus and city. I walked around only really seeing individuals who were white. I drove the 14 hours back home and continued to think about how I didn't see the diversity that was advertised in everything I saw from the university. It wasn't until the big move-in day that I realized the lack of diversity I was experiencing in the staff and the individuals I shared classrooms with. When you check the university's website you can see the numbers and the lack of diversity.

  • American Indian/Alaska Native — <1% (118)
  • Asian — 2% (595)
  • Black/African American — 2% (425)
  • Hispanic/Latino — 13% (3,243)
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander — <1% (121)
  • Not Reported — 4% (914)
  • Two or More Races — 4% (1.079)
  • White — 73% (18,612)
  • Nonresident (International) — 2% (433)

The numbers I was seeing wasn't matching the things I was seeing around, and it wasn't until I conducted my own research and interviews with my peers that I noticed that I wasn't the only individual that was craving more diversity on campus. Other students wanted to more people who were like them around campus. Boise State University is not the only campus that will push diversity when its really to only meet their quota. Students who transferred from Arizona State University also mentioned to me that they face similar issues and feelings around diversity from their campus. I want to bring the topic of diversity to many of the student organizations on campus to help our voice be heard for a want for a more diverse campus.

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