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Book Review: The End of Bias

The End of Bias: A Beginning by Jessica Nordell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was incredibly triggering for me. It is well researched and contains a vast amount of data that illustrates how unconsciously bias we are. At the same time, it also validates a great deal of my emotions and reaction to the way I have been treated by society on a daily basis.

“We also don’t like to be wrong, and we feel irked and threatened when our stereotyped predictions don’t come true.”

This is perhaps one of the bigger revelations for me. I am one who has a personality that contradicts all stereotypes of my gender, race and age. It has caused me enormous grief in my life fighting against those who keep trying to push me back into the box where they believe I belong to.

Post George Floyd, “Diversity training is now a multibillion-dollar-a-year industry.” One would expect that with so much resources thrown into teaching employees and employers how to recognise their own bias would see a change in hiring patterns.

“When the researchers analyzed actual rates of promotion in the companies following these initiatives, they found that when diversity trainings for managers were mandatory, the odds of Black women becoming managers five years later decreased by 9 percent. The odds of Asian American men and women dropped 4 to 5 percent, and the odds of White women and Black men becoming managers did not change at all.”

In my experience no amount of book reading, diversity training or well-presented data can alter a mind that does not want to change. This book may not change the world if the world refuses to bend. But it could offer a few surprising insights to those who are severely marginalized, even if they are fully aware of the bias treatment they receive on a daily basis, how to better navigate a society that refuses to see them as a regular first class citizen.

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