I always knew powerful people had blind spots – now neuroscience has proved it | Suzanne Alleyne

Science shows us that many of those in authority are so used to wielding it that they are unaware of their privilege

The thing that people with power don’t know is what it’s like to have little or no power. Minute by minute, you are reminded of your place in the world: how it’s difficult to get out of bed if you have mental health conditions, impossible to laugh or charm if you are worried about what you will eat, and how not being seen can grind away at your sense of self.

I am often in rooms with people who do not understand this, people more educated than me, more privileged than me – people who are so accustomed to having power that they don’t even know it’s there. I am a black woman in my fifties, I am neurodiverse, and I have multiple mental health diagnoses. Part of my job as a researcher and cultural thinker involves working with leaders in the arts, business and politics, supporting them to see the one thing they can’t: the effects of the power that they wield.

Suzanne Alleyne is a cultural thinker, founder at Alleyne&, and fellow of the thinktank Demos

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