Out of Sight - Out of Mind



 

As the old saying goes - It's the squeaky wheel that gets the oil. That may sound cliche but sayings are often founded on truth. At work, when everyone is busy, it all starts to look the same and people can begin to judge others based on simple subconscious bias.


Not too long ago I accompanied a couple of young men to do some work and look see where some servers were kept in a pharmaceutical manufacturing area. One of the young men, after being asked some questions by me said, "You seem like a smart person." It's not like I'd not thought of it in the past but that day the subject resurfaced. He had never seen my resume and didn't know my degree was in Microbiology. Nor did he know that I've done calculus based physics and enjoyed 27 years in Pharma, Medical Device, IVD, Biotech, Blood banking, etc. I was just an old lady who was doing some work that seemed clerical. It was nice of him to say it seemed like I was smart but the question felt like the concept might be a surprise to him. He didn't do anything wrong but the question felt like other was expected of me. Cultural subconscious bias, gender based social learning, does affect women and other minorities in business.


Not too long after, I spoke to someone who said he'd also recently had the same conversation with someone else surrounding how past experience can become invisible.

Sometimes you have to toot your horn and remind others of your experience and what you are capable of doing or they might place you at the bottom of the intelligence pile based on subconscious bias.


It is really important that we are aware and respectful of our interactions with others. We all have some sort of subconscious bias and it's interesting to pay attention to where and how we display it. Watch and you may be surprised at what you do or say that shows it. There is no fault to us as this is cultural and subconscious where we don't even know we are doing it.


Toot....toot....yes, I did do calculus based physics and can't believe I passed with a decent grad. I actually did two of the 3 required engineering classed. I didn't need the third one and didn't want to attend another semester so opted to just graduate. I was ready. Be proud of your accomplishments and don't be afraid to remind others of what they are.


Joann


ps, I did some damage to my left eye and am having a hard time focusing - in the event you see typos. The Donkey was simply to be silly - we all need to lighten and shine happy on the world as we move past Covid now.

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