Leave Your “Gut” Out of Hiring Decisions

Your gut isn’t invited to this party.

Unconscious Bias and System 1 Thinking

Most people don’t want to admit they’re biased. Especially in Silicon Valley, we cling to our “meritocracy” like it’s a religion. The best “ninjas” and “rockstars” — even writing those words makes me cringe — will bubble up to the top because the system is perfectly fair.

Good use case for System 1 thinking
We have a great culture!

The “Mirrortocracy”

So what we really end up with in Silicon Valley is not a meritocracy at all, but what Kara Swisher cleverly called a “mirrortocracy” last week at the Women Transforming Technology conference. It’s an environment where rampant bias leads people to hire others like them.

What can we do?

Bias affects all of us. I know that I likely have a bias toward people who look and talk like me. But I don’t just throw up my arms and give into it.

Stop Promoting Dave

It’s worth noting that Dave and I sat through the same “diversity training.” I came close to tears as the instructor talked about microaggressions — something I experienced and observed every single day at this company. Meanwhile, Dave was sitting in the back heckling with the SVP of Engineering.


At Compassionate Coding, we help companies build more inclusive cultures for everyone by focusing on empathy and compassion. Feel free to reach out about our workshops!

About the Author

Compassionate Coding

Bringing Ethics and Emotional Intelligence to the Tech Industry

April Wensel

Written by

Speaker | Founder, Compassionate Coding | compassionatecoding.com

Compassionate Coding

Bringing Ethics and Emotional Intelligence to the Tech Industry