Careers events targetting bias-related issues?

I’ve heard from several people who are interested in putting together careers events for undergraduates that specifically target bias-related issues. Obviously, one big worry about such things is now incredibly demoralising it is to learn (for example) about the effect of a female or non-white name on CV review. This isn’t necessarily a reason not to talk about this, but I think it’s a legitimate worry given the horrendous job market they’re all going into, and given the desire not to make things worse for those already facing considerable barriers. Equally obviously, it would be useful to tell students about ways of overcoming stereotype threat, and about power posing. Any other thoughts about things that would be good or bad to do? Any insights from running or attending such events?

6 thoughts on “Careers events targetting bias-related issues?

  1. I have personally found them incredibly empowering. Finding out that stereotype threat was the reason I got so anxious in certain settings made me realize that it wasn’t because I was stupid, or couldn’t “get it”. Finding out that implicit biases are at play made me stop taking my failures so personally. Of course there is a way this information can be conveyed so that it is demoralizing, but if it is conveyed as “Here’s what goes on in the profession and how it might affect you, so here are some ways of thinking about it and tools for dealing with it”, I think it can only be a good thing.

    I have also run several events where topics of this sort are covered, and I find that undergraduates and graduate students both tend to be empowered rather than disheartened by such information.

  2. Yes, both comments! Know the ‘enemy’, rather than be shocked and overwhelmed in the moment of truth…..and learn strategies!!……prepare!!!

  3. I agree that it is helpful to be aware of the dynamics at play, but I’ve had less luck finding advice for what people in these situations can do to increase their chances of success. May I ask that you all share some links or sources with recommendations, e.g. concerning interviews, interactions in professional situations more generally (for e.g. women of color, 1st gen. students). Thanks!

  4. On the Market: for all of the issues with it, I actually found Lean In to be helpful in this regard. Whoever was assisting Sandberg on research did a nice job, and she talks about how to manage one’s behavior in cases where bias is likely to affect others’ perception of women’s behavior, including in negotiation. Chapter Three, “Success and Likeability” is particularly helpful in this respect.

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