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    Making every guest feel welcome

    Understand discrimination, plus get strategies for tackling unconscious bias.
    Bài viết của Airbnb, đăng ngày Nov 20, 2019
    Bài đọc 11 phút
    Đã cập nhật vào Nov 20, 2019

    Highlights

    • Bias exists largely at a subconscious level

    • Use objective criteria to evaluate potential guests, like the number of reviews on their profile

    • Think about why you’re rejecting a guest—would you want to explain the reason face-to-face?

    • Welcome guests from different walks of life, and say so in your profile

    Airbnb believes that travel can help foster connection and build a more open and inclusive world. Discrimination is a very real obstacle to that connection, which is why it’s so important to address it, and to work toward a world where anyone can belong anywhere.

    To help hosts and guests understand discrimination and the biases that cause it, Airbnb worked with prominent social psychologists Dr. Robert W. Livingston of Harvard University and Dr. Peter Glick of Lawrence University. The guidelines and best practices in this article were inspired by their research and knowledge.

    Bias vs. discrimination: What’s the difference?

    “Bias” refers to feelings or assumptions about a person based on traits like ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical traits, or social group. “Discrimination” is when you behave differently toward someone based on their group. Bias doesn’t always lead to discrimination, but it’s usually where discrimination starts.

    What is implicit bias?

    Bias exists largely at a subconscious level and is often called “implicit bias.” Implicit bias can influence how we treat people, causing us to discriminate—sometimes without even realizing it.

    Dr. Livingston explains implicit bias and the ambiguous situations that can trigger it.

    Gender-based and LGBTQ bias

    Gender roles are deeply rooted in society and—whether we’re conscious of it or not—most of us use them to make determinations about how we think people should act. Gender stereotypes have significant implications for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer) people because their identities challenge societal norms.

    No matter where you stand on gender and LGBTQ issues, it’s important to keep in mind that extending hospitality toward others does not require the adoption of their views or lifestyle.

    Dr. Glick discusses some of the many reasons LGBTQ bias exists and its effect on those who experience it.

    The role of stereotypes

    One of the ways bias displays itself is through stereotyping. A stereotype is a widely held but oversimplified or exaggerated image or idea of a particular type of person. Everyone uses stereotypes to a certain extent—sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously. Stereotyping groups of people can often lead to discriminatory behavior, from unintentional insults to extreme cases of injustice.

    Dr. Livingston describes the consequences of discrimination and reveals how we as a community can help prevent them.

    How you can take action

    Discrimination goes against Airbnb’s core values and is prohibited on our platform. Luckily, it’s controllable and avoidable, even when it stems from implicit bias. Here are some steps every host can take to help create a more inclusive community:

        • Speak out. Add a message to your profile stating that you welcome guests from all walks of life. This not only signals to guests that they’re welcome, it can also inspire other hosts to embrace the values of diversity and inclusion, too.
        • Use the same standards for everyone. Create a set of objective criteria that you use to evaluate every potential guest, every time. It could be the number of reviews they have or how many people are in their party. If your criteria are inconsistent from situation to situation, bias may creep into your decision-making.
        • Use mindful decision-making. Before accepting or rejecting a guest, determine why you’ve made the decision and challenge yourself to give a rigorous explanation. Ask yourself if you’d be comfortable having to tell the guest face-to-face the reason why they were declined.
        • Practice empathy. It may sound obvious, but empathy goes a long way. Imagine that you’re in someone else’s shoes and try to understand how they might be feeling. Think about the hurt, inconvenience, and indignity that someone may face when being denied the opportunity to book a place solely because they’re different.
        • Unlearn stereotypes. One of the few proven ways to actually reverse implicit bias is to seek out experiences and information that go against stereotypes. Get out of your comfort zone, and meet diverse people. Accept Airbnb guests from different walks of life. Positive contact and social interaction can reduce biases.

        Help all guests feel welcome

        Consider stating in your profile that you welcome guests from all walks of life.
        Update your profile

        Highlights

        • Bias exists largely at a subconscious level

        • Use objective criteria to evaluate potential guests, like the number of reviews on their profile

        • Think about why you’re rejecting a guest—would you want to explain the reason face-to-face?

        • Welcome guests from different walks of life, and say so in your profile

        Airbnb
        Nov 20, 2019
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