March 10-12, 2020
Lake Tahoe, California
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Thursday, March 12 • 9:40am - 10:10am
How to See Your Own Bias - Aeva Black, Microsoft Azure

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Five years ago, I was running one of OpenStack's hottest projects and my career was skyrocketting upwards, but that changed when I brought my gender expression inline with my gender identity. As a result of transitioning, I experienced a shift in bias that no one could have prepared me for -- but it's not what you're thinking.

In the two years that followed, I received over 30 rejections for roles and levels that I had previously held. I anticipated that I would run into stereotypes and negative bias, but the most surprising change in bias was internal.

Years of practising meditation gave me a direct awareness that our perceptions are coloured by our past experiences, but as this body's hormones changed, so too did my own perception of the world!

The interplay between memory and sensation, which occurs continually in each of us, is known as "perception bias", and I have some news for you: we're all biased -- and that's OK.

What matters is what we do with it.


Thursday March 12, 2020 9:40am - 10:10am PDT
Alpine B