Unconscious Bias in Talent Reviews

In his 2005 book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking,”Malcolm Gladwell polled Fortune 500 companies and found that 30 percent of CEOs were 6 feet 2 inches or taller. In comparison, only 3.9 percent of the U.S. population are of that height.

Why? Unconscious bias.

Also known as implicit bias, this tendency refers to the mental processes, classifications, stereotyping and decisions that are made in our minds, but outside our mental awareness. These snap judgments lead us to, for example, be more likely to see a tall individual as a leader than a short individual, and are a result of genetically determined processes in which we make quick decisions in order to survive hostile environments. Our brains take shortcuts to judge, classify and act based on limited — and often inaccurate — information.