Unconscious biases influence people’s everyday actions. These biases are shaped by people’s experiences and by cultural norms and allow them to filter information and make quick decisions.
In the workplace, women often encounter gender stereotypes and biases that reinforce the existing gender hierarchy, may hinder women’s career aspirations and retention, and may limit their ability to be promoted— especially in traditionally male organizations.
Some evidence-based suggestions for organizations to minimize bias in performance evaluations are:
- Provide unconscious bias education as part of leader development training.
- Be specific and clear about evaluation criteria.
- Hold evaluators accountable.
- Avoid lone-wolf evaluators, include several people during the process.
- Be transparent in who, what, how and why everything is being evaluated.
- Consistent and frequent evaluation is better.
Organizations are more aware of the high costs associated with turnover and of the benefits of gender-diverse leadership teams such as increased productivity and creativity. Commitment and action from enterprises are vital for this endeavor. Let’s keep raising awareness of biases that hinder women’s development in the workplace and strive toward making the unconscious conscious.
To access DISH Collective Resource Groups’ training on unconscious bias, visit:
For details regarding Dr. Smith, Dr. Rosenstein and Dr. Nikolov’s research mentioned in this post, visit: