Plenary IV: The Importance of Understanding Human Behavior: Stereotype Threat and Implicit Bias in the Academy and in Business
While conscious biases and outright discrimination are still painfully present in our country, on the whole, our society agrees that discrimination does not serve the best interests of scholarship or business. Despite this general agreement and a great deal of well-intentioned activity in both the academic and corporate worlds, under-representation of women and people of color remains a vexing reality in both sectors. This is a complex and multifaceted problem. Factors in this very slow progress may include the failure to adequately incorporate current understanding of stereotype threat and implicit biases in the development of programs as well as resistance to the ideas that all humans harbor implicit biases and that stereotype threat can lead to underperformance in a variety of settings. In this plenary, the role that stereotype threat and implicit bias play in underrepresentation in STEM in academia and business, as well as strategies that help to compensate for these deeply ingrained aspects of human behavior will be discussed. A substantial portion of the session will be devoted to audience discussion. and questions.