Having been on the receiving end of bias a time or two, I have learned more than one lesson where the rubber hits the road.

A woman in trades, a law student living with a disability and the wrong heritage, being fat, a single mama, outspoken, not knowing my place – I have stood toe to toe with prejudice and witnessed first hand what it feels like to have someone treat you like you don’t belong.  I once took a case of discrimination to the human rights commission. 

Bias – conscious or unconscious, does not feel good.

I had a fellow disabled law student tell me that he did not disclose his disability when he applied to law school. He did however disclose the fact that his dad was a superior court judge….oh but I digress.

I’ve taken the bold step this past year to talk about discrimination from a new perspective – unconscious bias and how those biases hurt us as business owners. It hurts everyone when people show prejudice against us – but have you given any thought to your own deep seated prejudices and how they might be hurting you?

When you come from a place like I did, where we didn’t have a lot of money, it’s possible that we carry prejudices. Let’s not talk about camels fitting through the eye of a needle but do you get what I’m sayin?

I can sit here and talk about how I’ve been a victim but the reality is – all of those experiences have informed the work that I now do. People have mistreated me – I have no control over their biases. My own biases – now that is another story.  Our own biases can hurt us in business unlesss we nip them in the bud.

That’s what I’m doing now and will continue to do. My experiences have shaped who I am. I’m all about owning my background, learning from it and definitely changing what does not serve me in business.

Unconscious bias against making money – it harms our business. Call it out, challenge the assumptions that keep it alive.