How to Avoid Bias and Build a Better Society

You are biased. We all are. Our brains are wired to develop shortcuts that help us make sense of the world. However, when applied to people, these shortcuts result in bias—particularly when it comes to gender. So what can we do to avoid this often unconscious bias?

Behavioral design nudges our minds to make better choices and moves the needle on gender equality. Tweet This Quote

New research out of Harvard on behavioral design might be the fastest and most affordable solution. Produced by Unreasonable Media, this video highlights research led by Iris Bohnet, Director of the Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) at the Harvard Kennedy School. In her recently published book, What Works: Gender Equality by Design, Bohnet presents 36 interventions any organization could adopt immediately to address gender bias—based on extensive data collected by companies, universities, and governments around the world.

For example, in the 1970s major US orchestras discovered that adding a curtain to the audition process allowed them to simply listen to the musicians, as opposed to judging their looks. As a result, the orchestras acquired better talent and increased female musicians by 30%. Additionally, in 1993 India mandated that one-third of local government seats be reserved for women leaders. This led to more women engaged in the public policy process, resulting in more girls in their communities continuing their eduction and delaying marriage and motherhood.

Even though we’re biased, we can design around it. Tweet This Quote

Bohnet’s book proves that even though we’re biased, we can design around it. We can eliminate gender inequality by changing our environments in a way that nudges our minds to make better choices.

About the author

Brittany Lane

Brittany Lane

Brittany is the global editor of Unreasonable.is, which exists to drive resources and value to entrepreneurs around the world solving big f*$ckin' problems. She believes lasting change happens at the intersection of entrepreneurship and empathy and that good storytelling can move mountains.