Getting to Yes, And

Pamela Fuller: The Leader's Guide To Unconscious Bias


Pamela Fuller

Subscribe on

Kelly talks to FranklinCovey's chief thought leader on inclusion and bias about her new book and how we are all subject to our own biases.

Bias, as you note in the book, isn’t restricted to someone’s gender or race, it can be about accents or height.

“If you've read your Malcolm Gladwell, 58% of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are over six feet tall and only 14 and a half percent of the male population in the US is over six feet tall. And so you think about races and ethnicities that have smaller stature and, of course, what percentage of women are over six feet tall? I learned recently that globally only 10% of the population is over six feet tall, but it is how our brain signals power and authority and who gets to be in charge and run something as big and important as a fortune 500 company.”

And these biases are with us and affect us the minute we are born.

“So we would argue all the babies are beautiful, right, for the record, all the babies are beautiful, but some babies have that sort of Cherubic look:  the puffy cheeks and red rosy cheeks. Those babies are actually spoken to three times as much as the sort of non-cute babies in quotes. And so right from the beginning, we have this beauty bias and it aggregates over time because that turns into language development, right, it can actually impact capability over time in that sense.”

And the idea here is that you have to try not to put yourself at the center of every story.

“You don't have to see yourself reflected in something for it to be relevant, and I think that the idea that we can take advice from women, from marginalized groups, from the queer community - that we could learn from those experiences, is in itself part of that heavy lift of introspection. You have to be able to read a story where you don't see yourself reflected and recognize that that is what you're feeling - that's pulling you away - and then pushing yourself to lean into that and think about what you could take from it. That's positive and I think it’s really important.”

Related Episodes