Sydney Brian-Peters is a mid-level executive at her organization. As a unit head, part of her duties is to promote employees within her unit. Since her unit has been the most profitable cost center in the company there is much interest from upper management on who gets what position within the unit. She recently recommended one of her subordinates to fill a position in her unit. She is now faced with justifying her recommendation.
This case introduces students to the concept of unconscious bias, or what I have termed economics of name. This concept refers to the challenge that minority individuals with ethnic-names – or what are considered by some as foreign names – face in getting employment. Concepts of covering and stay-put career choice are also discussed as challenges facing women as they climb a career ladder in corporate organizations.