Minimizing Workplace Gender & Racial Bias (Cognitive Foundations of…
Minimizing Workplace Gender & Racial Bias
Cognitive Foundations of Bias
Everyone relies on streoetypes, those associated w/gender and racial groups are overlearned
Still very difficult to get people to attend to "individuating information"
Thomas Nelson: Study where ppl were told stereotypes didn't matter didn't completely eliminate it or increase subject's reliance on individuating info.
Vincent Yzerbit: illusion of receiving individuating info made ppl more confident and extreme in their stereotypical judgements
minimize impact of stereotypical thinking on personal decisions. Elimination is impossible
actually getting decision makers to attend to the actual traits of individual's can backfire
Stereotypes in Institutional Context
Sex Rule spillover - gender linked traits associated w/ male dominated occupations can profoundly affect the working climate for women.
Women who are relatively new to traditionally male-dominated work settings often attract more attention, are evaluated more extremely, are perceived as different, receive less support and are more likely to be viewed as a disruptive force in the workplace.
Organizational Policy and Practice
Cultural based notions of devaluation & privilege get manifested in the workplace depends on org's: policy & practice, it's structure, internal politics, & external environment.
Systems whose criteria for making decisions as arbitrary & subjective are highly vulnerable to bias due to influence of stereotypes
Far more likely decision makers set aside jobs for men/women based on stereotypical beliefs about traits that are thought to be unique to each gender
Highly subjective personnel systems reinforce impact of segregated informal networks & personal ties in hiring & internal selection decisions.
Word of mouth recruitment typically reproduces the existing gender & ethnic composition of a workforce
Subjective & highly discretionary internal selection systems favor those w/ personal ties to decisions makers.
More bureaucratic, roles based & seemingly objective systems can also generate bias
Policies & procedures can be viewed as an outcome of org politics where the system is shaped to advance their interests/needs
Strict seniority systems & requiring specific kinds of prior job experience perpetuates past discrimination & white male dominance of the most rewarding jobs
Formalized approaches to minimizing bias
Gender and racial stereotypes can be minimized w/ judgements based on timely and relevant information. Info is evaluated consistently w/ respect to clearly articulated criteria; and when a mechanism exits that holds decision makers acceptable for the process that they've used and criteria they've applied in making their judgements.
what is considered job relevant info should be done through a systematic analysis
Mechanism must be in place for potential candidates to make their interests and qualifcations known to those making the decison
Substantive oversight of decision making needs to be implemented beyond "signing-off"
Limits of formal approaches
Proposal here are "identity-blind", however there are "identity-conscious" proposals that have shown success in reducing bias
regular monitoring and analysis of patterns of segregation and differences in pay and career advancement
systematic analysis of feedback from employees about perceptions of barriers to and opportunities for career advancement
explicit evaluation of managers and supervisors on their contributions to an org's EEO goals