If Hong Kong sees itself as a cosmopolitan city and global connector for China, it has no room for cultural bias and discrimination. Such prejudice does nothing for perceptions of an outward looking, tolerant society. Unfortunately, despite a global image that bridges east and west, such prejudice is still to be found in Hong Kong, as south Asians in particular, long a target of it, can readily attest. More worrying, an international company involved in a recent example of it has described it as “unconscious bias”. That may be meant to minimise intent but it is when people are discriminated against without conscious bias that it is time for a society to redouble efforts to stamp it out. The issue has been highlighted by accusations of racial profiling of customers in Hong Kong levelled at Sephora, the beauty retailer owned by LVMH, the largest luxury group in the world. In an anonymous Instagram post a woman of Pakistani descent said that after she left the shop with her sister and brother, a male staff member had followed her out the door and gone through her bag without offering any explanation. On a more recent visit to the same store the woman and her sister claimed the staff kept staring and following them as they browsed. The post sparked a series of negative comments on the Instagram page of Sephora Hong Kong, which appeared to acknowledge the incident in a post of its own. In a statement on August 18, Sephora went on to say that it has reached out to the woman and is planning to train all its Hong Kong staff members about unconscious bias and inclusivity. This was not the first time that Sephora had been accused of racially profiling its customers. In the US, black customers have complained about racial bias and unfair treatment. Sephora Hong Kong to train staff on unconscious bias and inclusivity Earlier this year, and following last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, Sephora pledged to address racial bias by retraining its staff, including security guards and increasing the number of black-owned brands it carries. The beauty chain has now announced that it is planning to train all its Hong Kong staff members by August 31 about unconscious bias and inclusivity. This is the right response. It should serve as an example wherever “unconscious bias” is to be found. For Hong Kong’s sake, there is a need for a change of mindset.