Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Mood Elevator

I sent my HR representative an email the other day stating that I was worried about the mood elevator posters on our corporate elevators because they reinforced a well-known unconscious bias toward tall (generally white, generally men) being more in line with the company expectations.  My boss, for instance, is very tall, so he's automatically "grateful" when someone sees him on the elevator (I'm somewhere around that creative/innovative mark).  My friend from my xml database days (also a manager, and a very good one) by contrast, is probably closer to 5' tall and barely makes the flexible/adaptive line.  My favorite snarks are ones that have a grain of truth to them.  She (my HR representative) sent an email to my boss trying to ferret out how serious I was.  Truth...not that serious.  But unfortunately not that inaccurate.

I want a picture of my boss and my friend standing next to the mood elevator.  Or, I want to draw a line on the poster for every manager with a name so folks can see the women versus the men and what they're seeing every day against the poster that's reinforcing inaccurate assumptions.  I know to watch for it, so it's not unconscious bias.  I'm hoping every time my HR rep gets on the elevator she sees it and has to think about it.

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