I participated in an Implicit Bias workshop offered by Alan Phan and Aparna Sundaram from the Central and Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA) Diversity Collective this evening. The workshop was aimed at school leaders and recruiting practices. Heads of Schools have a lot of power in selecting faculty and staff. Implicit biases are unconscious attitudes or stereotypes that humans hold that affect our actions, decisions and understanding. These can be positive or negative. They are personal and can be affected by media, experiences, friends family, and colleagues. Alan and Aparna went through the research literature on the subject. One interesting slide was Milton J. Bennett’s Development Model of Intercultural Sensitivity Continuum (below). Alan said most international school leaders are in the Acceptance Stage and the goal of training like this is to move people into the Adaptation and Integration stages. I would like to think my 30 years of living outside my home culture of the USA and working in a field that is predominately women and getting to know intimately families from all over the world, has helped me overcome my biases.
It is human to be biased and my main recruiting takeaway from the workshop will be to Make the Unconscious Conscious, as the slide below mentions. I will ask myself questions about why I like or don’t like a particular person when making hiring decisions.