Look Around

Bias-Busting: Identifying and Removing Biases in Hiring

Time and Date: 9:45–10:45 am on Saturday, May 4
Session Type: Panel
Panelists: Dr. Tara Dennehy, Dr. Eugene Fiume (moderator), Courtnay Hughes, Megan Richardson, and Dr. Sally Thorne

Many hiring practices have implicit or explicit biases that can affect who gets hired. In this session, four speakers will each identify a bias that can show up in hiring, and share a concrete way you can reduce the impact of that bias on your hiring process. Q&A to follow.

Dr. Tara Dennehy is a postdoctoral researcher working with Dr. Toni Schmader and the Engendering Success in STEM consortium, a research partnership with the shared goal to foster women’s inclusion and success in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). As part of the ESS Consortium, Tara is working on Projects PRISM and RISE. In her work related to Project RISE, Tara is particularly interested in studying the potential role of male allies in changing cultural norms for women in STEM.

Tara's research is centered on understanding the power of stereotype-laden social contexts. A major line of research examines how stereotypes activated in social situations (by the actions of interaction partners or by peripheral cues) affect dynamic social interactions in high stakes settings, such as job interviews. In a second line of research, Tara focuses on interventions that powerfully boost individuals' resilience against negative stereotypes over time. In a third line of research, Tara explores how violations of gender and race stereotypic expectancies influence perceptions of others without perceivers' awareness.

Eugene Fiume is Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences at Simon Fraser University. He is the former Chair of Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, where he continues to supervise students as Professor Emeritus. He is past Director of the Masters of Science in Applied Computing programme, and was Principal Investigator of a $6M CFI/ORF project on the construction of a digital media and systems lab. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Following his B.Math. degree from the University of Waterloo and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Toronto, he was an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow and Maitre Assistant at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. He was awarded an NSERC University Research Fellowship in 1987 and returned to the University of Toronto to a faculty position. He was Associate Director of the Computer Systems Research Institute, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Grenoble, France. He has been a member of various boards, including the Scientific Advisory Board of GMD, (Bonn, Germany) and of the Max Planck Centre for Visual Computing and Communication (Saarbrucken, Germany); the Board of Directors of TrueSpectra Inc. (Toronto) and of Tucows Inc. (Toronto); the Board of Directors of CITO (Ottawa); the Advisory Boards of CastleHill Ventures, PlateSpin, BitFlash, TrueSpectra (acquired by Adobe), OctigaBay Systems (acquired by Cray Systems), and View22 Technology Inc., the Intel Science and Technology Center for Visual Computing (Santa Clara), and the Executive Advisory Board of the IBM Lab in Toronto. He is currently on the Technical Advisory Board of TandemLaunch Ventures, Datifex, and Arius Technologies.

Eugene has participated in many task forces and reviews of institutes around the world, including three institutes at GMD (Germany), INRIA (France), and iCORE (Calgary). He chaired the review of the Department of Computer Science at UBC (2000), and the Department of Computer Science at ETH, Zurich (2008), and sat on the review panel of the Faculty of Science at UBC (2011), and of Computer Science at EPFL, Lausanne (2015). He has had a long association with the computer graphics and digital media industries internationally. He now works with various companies in an advisory capacity on technological and business issues as well as due diligence.

Courtnay Hughes is a recognized expert on gender diversity in mining with over fifteen years of experience in human resource management.  Ms. Hughes advises mining industry employers, educators and communities on their inclusion efforts. Courtnay leads national and regional research and policy initiatives on diversity and inclusion for the mining sector. Highlighted program development initiatives include the Mining Industry Human Resources Council's - Gender Equity in Mining (GEM) Works program.

Courtnay contributes to a number of national and regional committees focusing on increasing diversity and building HR capacity. These include the BC Mining HR Taskforce; Women in Mining Canada’s National Action Plan; Engineers and Geoscientists BC Taskforce on Gender Diversity; and the Engendering Engineering Success Consortium. Courtnay holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and a Masters of Applied Science in Mining Engineering from the University of British Columbia. Courtnay's graduate research was one of the first studies to identify and investigate gender inequality within the Canadian mining workforce.

Megan Richardson is a Senior HR Generalist and Recruiter at D-Wave Systems, the quantum computing company. She is passionate about fostering diverse, inclusive, and psychologically safe work environments. In her role she partners with teams across the organization to attract, hire, and retain talented, passionate people.

In addition to her work at D-Wave, she's also done some volunteering as a career specialist with Dress for Success, an organization which aims to empower women towards meaningful and sustainable careers as well as financial independence.

Sally Thorne, RN, PhD, is Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at the UBC Faculty of Applied Science. As a Professor in the School of Nursing with a program of research in the psychosocial dynamics of chronic illness and cancer care, Sally served two terms as Director of that School prior to moving into her current administrative leadership role in 2012. Her portfolio allows her to work closely with Department Heads and School Directors in Engineering, Nursing, Community and Regional Planning, and Architecture & Landscape Architecture to ensure that all processes affecting faculty, including hiring, career progress support, and performance management, are addressed in a fair and equitable manner that attends to respectful environment as well as equity, diversity and inclusion.