Christina shares her reflections on culture, diversity and unconscious bias from this BUILD core workshop.
I grew up in China and moved here for my university studies three years ago. I had some knowledge about cultural differences, but the BUILD workshop Understanding Culture, Diversity and Unconscious Bias provided me with a deeper understanding on culture and diversity issues.
Cultural differences are demonstrated through the behaviours of people from different backgrounds, but the reason people behave differently lies in the values and beliefs they have. As people around the world may have different perceptions on a single event, it is important for us to understand and appreciate the diverse thoughts held by different people.
“Although most people understand that we need to treat everyone fairly, almost all of us may unconsciously discriminate against other people.”Christina
Although most people understand that we need to treat everyone fairly, almost all of us may unconsciously discriminate against other people. For example, by judging someone based on their ethnic group or appearances, or by avoiding a whole group of people after having a bad experience working with one of them. We must try not to discriminate against under-privileged persons or minority groups, both directly and indirectly, consciously and unconsciously.
To deal with unconscious bias, the first thing we need to do is to have a deeper awareness of ourselves. We need to challenge our thoughts; get out of our usual environment to work with more people from different cultures; walk in others’ shoes; and therefore obtain a more comprehensive understanding of other people. Opening my mind to various perceptions and cultural values is never an easy task, but I will try to be as mindful and inclusive as I can.
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)