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Siobahn Hotaling - Creator of the IBTP
Siobahn Hotaling profile photo

Siobahn Hotaling

Creator of the Implicit Bias Transformation Program

Siobahn Hotaling has been passionate about justice and tolerance ever since she was a young girl growing up in upstate New York.  An avid reader, Siobahn found herself drawn to books about history and culture.  She was deeply moved by stories of the Civil War, biographies of American suffragettes, and accounts of the Holocaust, and found herself struggling to understand how humans could treat one another with such hatred.  She was troubled, too, by the subtle injustices, gender inequality, and xenophobia that still existed in society.  As a member of the LGBTQ community, Siobahn also experienced a great deal of intolerance herself as a young adult.  While not actively engaged in gay rights advocacy, she worked hard to understand those around her and specifically how to develop a more compassionate view of others.


It became apparent to Siobahn that those around her who seemed to harbor prejudices and biases weren’t bad people; in fact, most people she met seemed to be genuinely kind and caring individuals.  So how could they be so intolerant of certain groups?  Why did their empathy seem to be limited to those that they could identify with?  And where did these biases come from?  Were they born with them, or were they taught? 

While pursuing her Master’s degree in Psychology from Harvard University’s Extension School several years ago, Siobahn began studying the concept of implicit bias.  She realized that this concept seemed to shine a light on the questions she had been asking herself for so many years; when asked by her capstone advisor, Adrienne Tierney, what problem in the world meant the most to her – the problem she would address in her capstone project – she easily responded: “Intolerance and bias”.  

The Implicit Bias Transformation Program is the culmination of Siobahn Hotaling’s studies at Harvard, combined with her lifelong passion to combat intolerance and inequality in the world.  She understands the importance of helping individuals explore and understand the emotional underpinnings of their biases, and as such, she has a strong belief that any successful bias change program must work on the individual level.  Additionally, she also understands that while it is easy to feel anger and malice towards those that have biases, it is important to keep everyone’s humanity at the forefront.  To this end, one of the key components of the IBTP is helping participants – who are to be commended for having the strength to face their biases – to mitigate any shame they have, as well as cultivate an environment of compassion.

To learn more about the IBTP, or to reach Siobahn directly, please use the Contact Us form.