Here is the full transcript of international HR leader Kristen Pressner’s TEDx Talk: Are You Biased? I am at TEDxBasel conference. This event took place on May 28, 2016 at Basel, Basel-Stadt (de).
Listen to the MP3 Audio: Are you biased_ I am by Kristen Pressner at TEDxBasel
OK, so let me just get this out there. I have a bias against women leaders.
No one can be more surprised about this than me. I’m a woman leader. And on top, I even work in human resources, which means it’s kind of my job to be unbiased. In fact, I passionately encourage women to step into leadership. My poor kids would definitely tell you I never stop talking about it.
But in spite of my strong belief that women make great leaders, I’ve realized I don’t always act like it. Not long ago, within the same week, two members of my team asked me to take a look at their compensation. My first reaction to the man’s request was something like, “Yeah, I’ll look into it”. My first reaction to the woman’s request was something like, “I’m pretty sure you’re good”.
Day or so later, I’m sitting at my desk, hard at work, and I somehow connected what up until then I’d seen as two separate events. I had two very different reactions to basically the same request, and I thought, “Huh, what’s up with that? Might I be biased and not even know it?” But I know what you’re thinking.
This is 2016, it’s not a topic. Women leaders are everywhere. Maybe you, like me, have personally hired or promoted lots of women leaders. But then I thought, with all this talk of unconscious bias, might something be going on that I’m not even aware of? You know, if it’s unconscious and all.