April 01, 2019

Implicit Bias: Recognize and Interrupt It

Alexandria Hien McCombs, Humana, Irving, TX

The anticipation of a productive client meeting against the backdrop of the Floridian sun energized me. I glided onto the hotel elevator reflecting on the business priorities and options to be evaluated. Feeling great this morning! My solo descent halted as the elevator stopped a few floors down and a man entered. Self-defense training conditioned me to establish eye contact, assess body language, and note the physical features of this new occupant: white male, about 5’10”, 170 lbs., khaki shorts, and a blue golf shirt. The man seemed friendly yet hesitant to speak. When the elevator reached the lobby level, he scanned my red cape-sleeve dress and asked, “Beautiful dress. Is it authentic?” I didn’t understand. “Authentic as in----?” I paused. “Authentic from China?” he offered. Baffled, I cleverly and truthfully replied, “Authentic from Nordstrom.”    

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