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We were delighted to hear from Vernā Myers, Vice President of Inclusion Strategy at Netflix, at our Global Employer Forum in New York last month.

Vernā is a Harvard-trained lawyer, author, TED speaker and diversity advocate. She revolutionizes corporate culture. Her keynote address at the Forum challenged leaders to critically examine their own unconscious biases and to get uncomfortable.

Vernā explains,

Bias are the stories we make up about people before we know who they actually are.

Unconscious biases, or implicit biases, are thoughts and feelings outside of our conscious awareness that our brain uses as information-processing shortcuts. The problem is when these shortcuts are both inaccurate and influence our behavior.

Through critical self-examination and reflection on our own biases, we can begin to identify where unconscious biases in the workplace may perpetuate inequities and a lack of inclusion. When we can recognize and have an awareness of bias, we can start to see how certain preferences for what’s in front of us may actually be (unintentionally) embedded in a company’s systems and processes thereby creating structural barriers to equal opportunity.

Listen to Vernā’s moving words HERE.

For more insights emerging from our Global Employer Forum, click HERE.