‘My World’ is a series of insights on gender issues by the people for the people

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

The author is Soundarya Lahari , a 44 year mother of two. She believes in equal opportunity for all and this attitude has been the core of her 20 year career in IT. She is a Project Manager with vast experience in leading various kinds of projects. She is known for innovative ideas and love for data science. She is a qualified Software Quality Analyst and a certified Fitness Trainer too!

Bias - Conscious & Unconscious

Off late I have been hearing/reading a lot about unconscious bias in the prediction models that are built for deriving insights out of data. A simple example is how a female employee will not be considered for a salary hike just because the number of female employees are less compared to the male employees and since the prediction model tends to give importance to a data point that is more in number, the probability of a female employee getting chosen for a hike from a large male dominated group is pretty less. The model will work correctly if we simply remove the data point that indicates the sex of the employee, as it does seem irrelevant to compare sex with salary, is it not? Data Scientists across the world are now working on removing these elements of unconscious bias.

In my day to day life, I challenge the implicit bias people around me have towards girls and boys. I argued strongly when my son said he will hand over his old phone to his sister and buy a new one himself. My husband did the same to me for years before I was able to put my foot down and demand for a new phone. And I was a working woman for all those years and could have got a new phone anytime!!! So, somewhere inside me a part agreed to this treatment. While the others in my family don’t find anything wrong with this bias, I find it highly infuriating and demeaning. I explained to my son on how he should change the bias that is ingrained in our DNA. He should fight this bias consciously, and take decisions and act in such a way that will make his sister and other girls around him respect and value themselves correctly.

One of the ways of changing this implicit bias is to first recognise it within ourselves and work on eliminating it. Once this is done, the change will reflect in each and everything we do or say and it will spread like wildfire simply because it is right, because only then will the world seem right. No wonder I am considered a rebel in my family!

I am looking for an opportunity where I will be able to help girls seek and mine the strength within themselves to become stronger, braver and confident

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