Unconscious bias

In last 2 weeks, BEITers participated in three panels all around the world: * World Economic Forum Global Technology Governance Retreat in San Francisco on quantum computing, * European Commission's Startup Network on Innovation, inclusion and diversity in Brussels, * and one in Krakow Technology Park, hosting His Excellency US Ambassador to Poland, Mark Brzezinski.

You can find more details in our blog and Paulina's LinkedIn post, so I wanted to focus on something else, which should be obvious if you look at the pics.

All the panels were arranged directly with Paulina, yet she was invited to just two of them. The organisers of the 3rd one preferred to invite me, which resulted in a typical male only panel. Women were there, listening from outside the picture frame. Old men like me have no shame, so I pointed to this bias in my first sentence there. In the conversation that ensued we agreed that there was no bad will, but I am sure this is exactly how unconscious bias works – making you ignore the title in the footer of the email from the person you are having a conversation with and not checking their public profile to learn what a CEO, a woman, in tech for 20 years can contribute to the discussion.

Male panel participants at KPT

EU Panel with BEIT CEO

Colin Soutar, Managing Director, Cyber Risk, Deloitte, USA; Paulina Mazurek, Chief Executive Officer, BEIT, USA Michele Mosca, Professor, University of Waterloo, Canada; Freeke Heijman Co-Founder and Director, Ecosystem; Jerry M. Chow, Director, Quantum Hardware Development, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, USA at the World Economic Forum Global Technology Governance Retreat 2022 in San Francisco, June 20th - 23rd.

Photo by World Economic Forum.