The Impact of Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

Friday 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Session Description

Every day, we make split second judgments, about language, behavior, and our perception of others. The human brain processes massive amounts of detail by creating shortcuts and instantaneously categorizing new information based on previous experience, social conditioning, and stereotypes. In this process, known as unconscious or implicit bias, our brain sorts people into social groups and assigns an identity based on characteristics such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, and religion. We pay attention to facts that support our associations and filter out facts that oppose them. We tend to associate positive qualities with, and favor, people who are like us (in-group bias). These automatic thoughts and feelings are hard to control or stifle and have a profound effect in the workplace.

Learning Objectives

  1. Train without Admissions
  2. Promote self-aware decision making
  3. Implement systematic safeguards

Annette Reyes, MBA, SPHR, CCDP/AP President/CEO

Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago as a first-generation Puerto Rican born in the United States. After my parent’s divorced, I went to four different grammar schools in 7th grade alone in two different states and three different high schools in two different states but I refused to give up and I completed my high school education in 3.5 years. Although I chose to enlist in the Marine Corp after high school, my dream of becoming a Marine was shattered due to an undiagnosed migraine which resulted in my discharge from boot camp based on medical reasons.

At 19, I became pregnant with my first daughter and knew that I had to continue my education in order to be able to support my daughter and myself as a single mother. I continued my education and became a Paralegal and worked in several law firms in the Chicago area. At the age of 23, my daughter and I relocated to Upstate, NY. I got married and had a second and third daughter by the time I was 27. Unsatisfied in my career, working as a legal secretary, one day I was reading an article about the Rochester Business Journal Forty Under 40 Award. After being told by an attorney, that I supported to “don’t even waste your time, you’re nothing but a secretary”, I refocused on myself and life and while working full-time as a legal secretary, having three young daughters and being married to my then husband, I decided I was going to go back to college. While working full-time as a legal secretary, I attended SUNY Empire State College to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics with a concentration in Human Resources. While completing my degree, I pursued a position with the local Society for Human Resource Management Chapter to become more involved and network with other HR professionals so that I can get into the Human Resources field. I first became the PHR/SPHR Program Coordinator and moved on to become the Chapter Diversity Officer. My first position in the HR field was a recruiter for a non-profit company and through networking, I obtained a position as a Diversity specialist with a major health insurance company in the area and continued moving through the HR field to become an HR and Diversity Expert within national and then global corporation. At 32, I was awarded the Rochester Journal Forty Under 40 Award for my professional and personal commitment to my Community although I was previously told not to bother” and that I would never receive the Award because I was “just a secretary”. Still unsatisfied with my accomplishments, I continued my studies at St. John Fisher College and obtained my M.B.A. in Executive Management. I also attended Cornell University Professional Studies Programs in NYC whereby I obtained my certificate in Diversity Management and became a Cornell University Certified Diversity Professional / Advanced Practitioner (CCDP/AP).

Throughout my career, I’ve created sustainable and effective Diversity Recruitment and Training Program; as well as created Human Resource strategic plans in order to infuse Corporate Culture.

My Team and I are well prepared to partner with you in all of your Human Resources and Diversity needs.