On International Transgender Day of Visibility, Quantcast is shining the spotlight on our employee, Alex Concas, and their efforts to mitigate bias in recruiting and toward surrounding LGBTQIA+ communities through ongoing education and awareness. In this interview, they explain how to recognize and avoid bias, how an experience at Quantcast inspired a shift in their content creation, and why education is essential to creating change.
First, tell us a little bit about your background at Quantcast: what’s your role, and how long have you been a Quantcaster?
I joined Quantcast as a Senior Technical Recruiter a couple of weeks before we were instructed to work from home for a “temporary period of time” because of a virus… you know the one! Here I am, over 1.5 years later (still remote), a few team changes later, and with a whole lot more knowledge on adtech and engineering.
Can you explain how bias can be present in recruiting and what we can do to prevent it?
Absolutely! We are all biased. If you just read that and thought to yourself, “I am not biased,” then it’s time to do a little self-reflection. When it comes to bias in recruiting, I’ve found that as recruiters, we have a responsibility to help our partners (hiring managers, leadership, etc.) see their biases and help them make better, less-biased hiring decisions. Little details matter. For example: I’ve often been on debriefs where interview panelists are discussing their portion of the candidate’s interview, but start to veer off of their focus area when delivering their feedback–it’s important to keep in mind that the words you say influence other people’s decisions, so we try to make sure panelists stay on track. Another example is we often hear things like “compared to the other candidates, I like this one better because…” Although that seems pretty harmless, it implies that the candidate is somehow superior to the others and could cause other panelists to re-think their decision, even if other candidates are their top choice. One piece of advice for less bias as a panelist? Be decisive and stick to the decision you made during your portion of the interview with the candidate during the debrief. This helps the hiring manager make a better decision. I feel grateful that Quantcast offers a lot of support and training in terms of bringing awareness to bias and making sure that our leaders and team members are advocates of a welcoming environment for everyone, starting at the recruiting stage.
You are a YouTube and Instagram content creator! Tell me, what is your content about?
I started the channel as more of a beauty/makeup tutorial channel, but I shifted my focus because my passion was more about educating people. I have since redirected my attention to Instagram, where I provide education on a broad range of topics, from LGBTQIA+ issues (I am a part of the community as a genderfluid person, so this is close to me) to mental health advocacy, as well as living authentically and everyday life advice through a more lighthearted creative lens. True story: the big shift in the type of content I create came from having the honor of hosting a panel of incredibly brilliant trans leaders in the tech industry for “Trans Day of Visibility” here at Quantcast. I was so moved by what the panelists had to say, and the fact that some still felt fear about their gender identity in the workplace, that I knew exactly what I was supposed to be doing. Hatred is driven by fear, and fear is sometimes just a lack of education about what you fear.
“Hatred is driven by fear, and fear is sometimes just a lack of education about what you fear.”
I’m hearing that you are taking the bias out of recruiting and helping to remove the bias surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community through education and awareness. How do those two pieces of your life fulfill you?
Being able to be a part of and have a career in the corporate system that I am trying to change and make more accepting for other LGBTQIA+ people is such a great spot to be in. I get to come to work and help people potentially start a whole new adventure with us here at Quantcast, and I also get to show up as my authentic self and am not only welcomed but encouraged to be a part of the change I want to see. On the other hand, creating content and being able to educate folks through a more creative lens is what helps me stay balanced and makes me feel a lot more whole.
Read about ways to support the LGBTQIA+ community at work and year-round. Make sure you follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for more. And, if you’d like to join our team, we’re hiring!