Following International Women’s Day last week and my recent Nike blog I have been doing some research on best practice for my own e-learning (coming in April!) I came across this incredible free resource ’50 ways to fight bias’ on the Lean-in website.
Millions of women have been driven out of the workforce by Covid-19. Many more are struggling with burnout and considering downshifting their careers or leaving their jobs. To avoid unwinding years of progress toward gender equality, companies need to act now to promote, hire, and retain women. Combating the biases women face at work is critical to getting this right. Research shows that bias contributes to women being passed over for jobs and promotions. Almost three in four women experience bias at work, and those who do are more likely to leave their jobs.
The first step to tackling bias is acknowledging it. As someone said: “It’s not do I have bias, but what biases do I have?” And this matters for creative ideas, and particularly when evaluating or judging other people’s ideas. And having your voice heard in the first place. How many times has the following happened to you or a colleague – it’s the classic ‘he or she who shouts loudest’ approach.
Take your pick of just a few common biases that affect women (and others) in the workplace and our ability to share their ideas:
Likeability bias is rooted in age-old expectations. We expect men to be assertive, so when they lead, it feels natural. We expect women to be kind and communal, so when they assert themselves, we like them less.
Maternal bias: Motherhood triggers false assumptions that women are less competent and less committed to their careers.
Performance bias is based on deep rooted—and incorrect—assumptions about women’s and men’s abilities. We tend to underestimate women’s performance, and overestimate men’s.
Affinity bias is what it sounds like: we gravitate toward people like ourselves in appearance, beliefs, and background. And we may avoid or even dislike people who are different from us.
This digital resource offers free training, op eds and research on the subject.