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and aviation industry. This recognition
started to amount to a very slow move
toward inclusion of PoC in leadership
roles and business in domestic airports
today. As time passed to present day, the
idea of diversity and inclusion began to
expand to not only PoC, but women and
countless other diverse characteristics
in people today. Through this positive
evolution, one issue developed, as the
topic of diversity became broader over
the years, the PoC in leadership roles
diminished. The advancements to
leadership roles that PoC made were
quickly replaced with Women and other
diverse groups, but those diverse groups
did not include PoC.
As a tool to help us get started, let's
establish a few definitions that help to
set the stage.
◊ Generally used to describe people
with darker complexions and those
who are descendants from Africa and
the African Slave Trade; that said,
not all "African American" people
identify as Black, some identify with
the country they are from, with one
example being Jamaican and another
example of being Dominican, which
is part of the Latin culture.
◊ Generally, describes people of lighter
complexions who immigrated from
◊ Describes those of Latin American
and Spanish descent. The term Latinx,
or Latino/Latina is a more inclusive
term for the greater amount of Latin
American countries; whereas Hispanic
largely refers to people from Spain and
the original Hispaniola.
◊ Used to describe people who do
not identify as Black or White. It
combines all other Persons of Color
(Latinx, Middle Eastern, Native
American Indian, Asian).
◊ Used today to describe any person who
is not considered White. This title is
inclusive of Blacks/African Americans,

Latinx/Hispanics, Asians, Native
American Indians, Pacific Islanders,
Middle Eastern and multiracial people.

"Explicit Bias refers to the attitudes and
beliefs we have about a person or group
on a conscious level. Much of the time,
these biases and their expression arise
as the direct result of a perceived threat.
R efer s to t he u nque st ioned
When people feel threatened, they are
and unearned set of advantages, more likely to draw group boundaries to
distinguish themselves from others." It
entitlements, benefits and choices
is important to know that those Explicit
bestowed on people solely because
Bias boundaries have been used for
they are White. Generally, White
people who experience such privilege
decades against PoC, particularly when
do so without being conscious of it.
it comes to recruitment and selection
Throughout the remainder of
of the number one position in airports
this article, I'll share generally and
and aviation.
specifically how color biases have
As we examine Implicit Biases, the
Perception institute describes it as "when
contributed to systemic oppression
and how that has set the foundation for
we have attitudes towards people or
inequality for People of Color in the
associate stereotypes with them without
our conscious knowledge. A fairly
airport and aviation industry. I'll go
further by addressing how it has been
commonplace example of this is seen
used in the industry. And, I'll offer you
in studies that show that White people
more of what is to come while sharing
will frequently associate criminality
some additional educational tools for
with black people without even realizing
they're doing it." This is a great example
those who are interested in learning
more about the topic.
of its impacts, because that Implicit
Bias of Black People = Criminals is
Systemic Oppression
perpetuated in the recruitment and
and Biases toward
selection process where it turns into an
People of Color
Explicit Bias against a Black person and
What exactly is systemic oppression?
that person is not selected for the role.
Another factor is how the subjectivity
According to the National Equity
of position requirements plays a strong
Project, systemic oppression is the
role as an Explicit Bias. As an executive
result of systemic laws, practices
recruiter and in the room with decision
and actions that resulted in "... the
intentional disadvantage of a group of
makers and selection panelists, I have
people based on their identity while
personally experienced where I've been
advantaging members of the dominant
asked to "loosen" the requirements so
group, whether it be gender, race, class, that they are able to select based on
sexual orientation, language, etc." The
the "right fit" for the organization.
more I read this definition, the more I
I've worked with clients to solidify as
agreed with it. I think the key word
detailed descriptions as we could, while
that justifies this statement is "resulted." counseling against the "loosening" of
As we'll learn in a later article, the laws
requirements for fear of attracting the
and regulations that were created
wrong type of candidate as well as the
simple fact that it's wrong to do.
were setup with good intentions. It's
only after the fact, certain people and
An example of biases at work has
groups worked to make the end result
also come into play during a facilitated
something different than the original
deliberation of the final two candidates.
intention. That "different result" I speak As I lead the deliberation, I asked the
of is where color bias comes in.
selection committee, let's discuss how
Color bias has been used as a way
the candidates meet the qualifications
as we initially outlined.
to oppress people of color for some
time. It has largely been used to apply
Candidate A: Cultural fit; Polished;
stereotypes to groups of PoC, whether
Knows us and the industry; great
it was realized or not. I say whether
financial background.
realized or not because there are both
Candidate B: Looks folksy; Speaks
Explicit and Implicit Biases at work here. well; Seems knowledgeable; Seems to
According to the Perception Institute, get financials.




Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Airport_Business_November_2020

Inside the Fence
Industry Update
A Smart Approach to Customer Wellness
Totally Boggus
How Color Biases Contribute to a Lack of Diversity in Aviation
Product Profile
40 Under 40
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 1
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 2
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 3
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 4
Airport_Business_November_2020 - Inside the Fence
Airport_Business_November_2020 - Industry Update
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 7
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 8
Airport_Business_November_2020 - A Smart Approach to Customer Wellness
Airport_Business_November_2020 - Totally Boggus
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 11
Airport_Business_November_2020 - How Color Biases Contribute to a Lack of Diversity in Aviation
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 13
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 14
Airport_Business_November_2020 - 15
Airport_Business_November_2020 - Product Profile
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Airport_Business_November_2020 - 40 Under 40
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