Month: February,2018
IMPLICIT GENDER BIASES IN BUSINESS

IMPLICIT GENDER BIASES IN BUSINESS

February 10, 2018 By

In an article exploring implicit gender bias, the Harvard Business Review explored the reality of this in the business world:  The article explains:

“Last year, Harvard Business Review investigated a company where women comprise only 20% of senior roles. Their goal was to find out whether differences in gender behavior explained promotion disparities. The researchers perused communication exchanges and data coming from sociometric badges that recorded interactions between employees. They hypothesized that explicit preferences such as women having fewer mentors or less facetime with managers would account for discrepancies. But as they analyzed their data, they found men and women’s work patterns and performances were indistinguishable. And yet women weren’t advancing whereas men were. What gives?

It comes down to implicit biases, the researchers concluded, which are our unconscious tendencies to favor one thing over another. Often, these mental shortcuts are morally neutral, like linking “doctor” and “nurse” and “hospital.” But connect “doctor” to “he” and “nurse” to “she,” and these associations become loaded, and can, as others have observed, have oppressive consequences.

This reality helps explain why most organizations struggle to close gender gaps: It’s not enough for women to compete and show they’re capable. Implicit attitudes must change, too. But how? Here’s where to begin:

Know what gender bias looks like

A preeminent legal scholar identifies two prominent forms of workplace bias against women:

First,

SECOND GENERATION GENDER BIAS

SECOND GENERATION GENDER BIAS

February 2, 2018 By

When prejudice moves into the second generation, it becomes more subtle and in many ways more powerful.  Stephanie Dyrness Lobdell is a Nazarene pastor who writes a thoughtful and important article revealing this to us.

“In generations past, it was easy to identify explicit structures and policies that hindered women from obtaining and succeeding in pastoral roles, but in many cases, those overt barriers have been eliminated. Even so, the number of female pastors hasn’t shifted much. According to Hartford Institute for Religion Research, only 12 percent of congregations in the United States have female lead pastors, and, in evangelical churches, that number drops to 9 percent. If so many barriers have been eliminated, why haven’t the number of women and men in lead pastorates and denominational leadership positions equalized?

Researchers Herminia Ibarra, Robin J. Ely, and Deborah M. Kolb asked the same questions about women in the secular work place, and determined there was undoubtedly something in the water—something that went deeper than the overt barriers of years gone by. They named this experience Second-Generation Gender Bias, concluding that “second-generation bias erects powerful but subtle and often invisible barriers for women that arise from cultural assumptions and organizational structures, practices, and patterns of interaction that inadvertently benefit men while putting women at a disadvantage.”

Good Intentions Are Not Enough

Let’s be clear. We’re not calling out men for evil intent and taking names.