Summary of What Does My Headscarf Mean to You?

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You make assumptions about people based on age, gender, skin color or disability every day. Diversity activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied reassures you that this doesn’t make you a bigot; it makes you a human. Yet unconscious bias becomes a problem when it denies people equal access to opportunity. Fortunately, learning about unconscious bias is the first step toward impartiality. getAbstract appreciates Abdel-Magied’s timely, poignant message, which resonates deeply in an increasingly polarized world where people make snap judgments about those who are different.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why humans are prone to unconscious bias,
  • How such bias affects workplace diversity and access to opportunity,
  • How you can mitigate the negative influence of unconscious bias.

About the Speaker

Engineer and diversity activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied founded Youth Without Borders, an organization that empowers young people to improve their communities and the world.



When you see a woman wearing a hijab, do you jump to certain assumptions? Do you wonder, perhaps, if her husband forces her to wear it or if she is a refugee? Would you be surprised if you learned that the woman worked as an engineer, drove racecars and trained as a boxer? If these revelations startle you, your unconscious bias is at work. Making assumptions about other people based on gender, ethnicity or age doesn’t mean that you are a sexist, racist or ageist; all humans have innate biases about what they perceive as different. Recognizing these biases and mitigating their influence protects...

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