BiasBusters @ CMU
Building a more inclusive environment

Announcements

Upcoming BiasBusters Sessions

  • August 8th, SEI Management and Development Program

Recent BiasBusters Sessions

  • July 25th Visiting Teachers, Gelfand Center Program
  • July 21st Provost's Division
  • July 13th Santa Fe Institute's "Postdocs in Complexity Conference II”

What is Unconscious Bias?

"Unconscious bias refers to a bias that we are unaware of, and which happens outside of our control. It is a bias that happens automatically and is triggered by our brain making quick judgments and assessments of people and situations, influenced by our background, cultural environment and personal experiences."

Sandy Sparks
The University of Warwick

What is BiasBusters @ CMU?

BiasBusters@CMU is modeled on Google’s Bias Busting@ Work program, and developed in concert with Google. The program was piloted in the School of Computer Science (BiasBusters@SCS,CMU) to engage over issues of bias, diversity, and inclusion. BiasBusters sessions are led by members of the CMU community who have volunteered to be trained as program facilitators. BiasBusters@CMU now reaches communities across the Carnegie Mellon campus.

Several things distinguish BiasBusters@CMU from similar programs. First is the framing: the program has an academic tone, focusing on summaries of research evidence into which discussions of experience are woven. Second, the role-playing, based on relevant and real life scenarios, has proved to be a powerful and effective approach for engaging participants, both at Google and at CMU, creating commitments to greater inclusivity.


What are the goals of BiasBusters @ CMU?

Review Research

To provide an easy way for us to review research relevant to unconscious bias

Raise Awareness

To raise awareness of our own bias, both conscious and unconscious

Discuss Potential

To discuss the potential for reducing the impact of bias in our community to develop a more inclusive culture

Understand

To understand our own bias towards inaction when we hear or see non-inclusive statements or actions

Practice

To use role play and scenarios to practice ways we might act and step in as allies to ensure everyone experiences an inclusive culture

Move Forward

To suggest ways to move forward

Resources

Research papers, articles, and other publications

Many forms of bias exist and there are many overlaps in bias discussions. For the moment we have identified some areas of bias that have attracted considerable research and attention. As we move forward our plans are to extend the body of resources presented here.

The Impact of Racial Microaggressions on Mental Health

Kevin Nadal, Katie Griffin, Yinglee Wong, Sahran Hamit, Morgan Rasmus

Exploring the color of glass

Frances Trix, Carolyn Psenka

Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students

Corinne Moss-Racusin, John Dovidio, Victoria Brescoll, Mark Graham, Jo Handelsman

Evidence That Gendered Wording in Job Advertisements Exists

Danielle Gaucher, Justin Friesen, Aaron C. Kay

A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination

Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan

The Impact of Gender on the Review of the Curricla Vitae of Job Applicants

Rhea E. Steinpreis, Katie Anders, and Dawn Ritzke

Ambient Belonging

Sapna Cheryan, Paul G. Davies, Victoria C. Plaut, Claude M. Steele

Racial Bias Reduces Empathic Sensorimotor Resonance

Alessio Avenanti,  Angela Sirigu, Salvatore M. Aglioti

Avoiding gender bias in reference writing

The University of Arizona, Commission on the Status of Women

Gender-Heterogeneous Working Groups Produce Higher Quality Science

Lesley G. Campbell, Siya Mehtani, Mary Dozier, Janice Rinehart

Media

Radio, videos, and talks

Many forms of bias exist and there are many overlaps in bias discussions. For the moment we have identified some areas of bias that have attracted considerable research and attention. As we move forward our plans are to extend the body of resources presented here.

Take Action

If you are interested in participating in a BiasBusters Session or in training to become a BiasBusters facilitator please send email to cfrieze@cs.cmu.edu

Change your language

Use more inclusive language (e.g., ask if someone has a partner rather than boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife) (Catalyst, 2009).

Set goals to reduce bias

Create a goal by identifying something actionable you can do to reduce bias and commit to it (Madera, King, & Hebl, 2013).

Listen positively

Receive information with acceptance and positivity if someone shares something personal or potentially risky about themselves to you (Griffith & Hebl, 2002; Law, Martinez, Ruggs, Hebl, & Akers, 2011).

Join a group

Become a member of a non-dominant group, even if you don't "identify" with that group (Washington & Evans, 1991).

Wear a sticker or t-shirt

Wear a t-shirt or display a sticker on your computer to show your support to certain groups (Evans, 2002).

Be Visible

Be prepared to speak up! Or speak privately. Talk with 2 coworkers about unconscious bias. Encourage others to come to a BiasBusters workshop.