Profile picture of @binhonglee on Twitter. @binhonglee


People who have met me irl knows I talk about bias a lot because subconsciously it's one of the hardest thing to combat. Unless you learn about it and actively tries to identify it. I think this is a great (and unfortunate) real life example.


Profile picture of @mmitchell_ai on Twitter. @mmitchell_ai

At Google, female research scientist women were blocked when they tried to hire other female research scientist women.
The reason given, on multiple occasions, was that we were trying to hire "our friends".
Shall we unpack this with respect to how sexist discrimination works?


I remember reading this story a while ago, tdlr, someone thought they don't have unconscious bias because they are a scientist, until when they met a lab of black scientists. For a sec, they weren't sure if they are all scientists, but they then immediately recognized their bias.

Biases like this exists partially because we typically expects people of a certain kind to be a certain way either through education or environmental bubble (or both). On a personal level, you needs to learn to recognize them so you can learn to "correct" them on yourself.

On a macro level however, we need to develop better system that would eliminate these biases entirely (even in subjective scaling systems). This includes actively acknowledging the existence of biases and explicitly ruling them out.

Of course, I can't talk about this without also talking about the general diversity effort. As Marian Wright Edelman once wrote "IT’S HARD TO BE WHAT YOU CAN’T SEE". This (imo) is a major systemic driver of such cognitive bias.

Being brought up with diversed individuals doing diversed things is one way to curb these biases for future generations. It also helps allow the best talents to do what they are best at without constantly suffering from self doubt just because they look different.

If you don't have anything to take away, remember this, we all have some level of biases one way or another. It's important to learn to recognize them so you can actually attempt to overcome these biases, preventing it from narrowing your world view.

First tweet was the consequence of bias; this is the cause of bias. Insisting on casting characters matching the stereotypes instead of breaking it enforces the cognitive bias (both consciously and subconsciously).

Profile picture of @RealSexyCyborg on Twitter. @RealSexyCyborg

Cool, tell them Jimmy stole the idea from a woman and the producers shot down the idea of having a woman on the show. It will give them something to look forward to if they ever consider a career in STEM.

@JimmyDiResta my girls can’t get enough of #makingfun They can’t wait to get in the shop to start making things. Thanks for inspiring them! @JackmanWorks

- @DerekPapalegis


You can argue that media companies don't have the responsibility to "help break stereotypes" but they hold major power over it (aside from the industry that makes educational materials) and could definitely do better (like not stealing someone else's show entirely).

Shawn (with more authority on hiring) also recently wrote this thread on how bias plays a role in hiring and that the need to combat it has to be intentional.

Profile picture of @ShawnAxsom on Twitter. @ShawnAxsom

Diversity is how you make the whole greater than a sum of its parts.