2019 NCWIT Summit: JeffriAnne Wilder – Color Bias

2019 NCWIT Summit: JeffriAnne Wilder - Color Bias
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During the 2019 NCWIT Summit, we sat down with several plenary speakers, workshop presenters, and other change leaders from the NCWIT community to discuss their perspectives on valuing diversity, changing systems (as opposed to “fixing” underrepresented individuals), recognizing bias, and more. The end result was a series of short videos that not only captures what drives these change leaders in their inclusion efforts, but also highlights research-based recommendations from the vast collection of NCWIT resources.

In this video, NCWIT Research Scientist JeffriAnne Wilder introduces the concept of colorism, a form of bias that extends privilege and advantage to lighter-skinned individuals, while also working to disadvantage people with darker skin tones. For a deeper dive on how colorism impacts women in tech, see the NCWIT resource Colorism: Skin Color Bias in the Tech Industry Hinders Diverse Participation in Computing.


JEFFRIANNE WILDER: Colorism is a form of internalized racism where people within groups, communities of color, discriminate against each other based on their skin tone. So unlike racism where people are judged based upon the color of their skin or their racial category, colorism is really about skin tone variety within a particular racial minority group.


JEFFRIANNE WILDER: I think so many people are completely unaware that colorism exists. Everyone understands the impact of racism, but very few people really know and understand the impact of colorism. So the more we talk about it, the more we can understand it and the more we can reduce skin tone bias.

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