Is Maura robbing a bank?

Photo by Gray Photography

The joke in my family is that I would rob a bank without a problem because people don’t seem to see me.  This phenomenon occurs mostly to me in non-professional settings where I am the only woman or person of color. I have spoken with some of my diverse colleagues about this matter, and they have also suffered from the same invisibility.

To understand this phenomenon let’s explore Affinity Predisposition (AP).  It is the tendency to relate, acknowledge and only feel comfortable with people like ourselves. AP is extremely dangerous when gatekeepers such hiring managers, direct supervisors, or supplier diversity personnel prefer people like themselves to join or service the organization. This type of behavior not only hinders the hiring, recruiting, promoting, growth and developing of people from the culture of differences, but also interferes with the implementation of inclusion at the organizational level.