On a Recent Talk on Lean In
Responding to Systematic Bias
In the interview above, Sheryl Sandberg talks about compensating for systematic bias against, in this case, women.
Conceptually, I think I’ve generally favored the view that trying to make situations the most equally evaluated is the right way to address bias. After hearing her point on this though — which I don’t think I’ve ever heard so cogently articulated — I now think compensating for that bias is actually pretty important.
I also realize that part of the reason I’ve not favored that viewpoint in the past is that the idea that these systematic biases are as pervasive as they are sounds awful to me.
I think Sheryl’s point on the use of the term bossy — which she notes is applied to girls almost exclusively versus boys — is particularly pointed.
Labels and words are powerful, and although the term bossy may rarely be used among adults, the incitation for it still exists throughout our society. And, that incitation does not exist solely apply to bias against women, it applies to other groups in other ways but with similar effects.
I’ve always valued equality, but I think this interview has changed the way I’d promote it.
As an aside, Mark Benioff continues to prove himself a good interviewer. Here his interest seemed especially genuine.