Minimizing Workplace Bias (Cognitive Foundations of Bias (Implications (…
Minimizing Workplace Bias
Definition (Workplace Bias): "differences in career outcomes by gender or race/ethnicity that are not attributable to the differences in skills, qualifications, interactions, and preferences that individuals bring to the employment setting" (p. 121).
"The attributes we associate with specific gender and racial labels are overlearned--- that is, they are habitual and unconscious" (p. 122).
"Too often...those with relevant expertise are not hired at all, or they are placed in relatively powerless staff positions with little clout and no support from top management" (p. 121).
Cognitive Foundations of Bias
Experiment: people were told that men and women were distributed equally across majors, so any stereotypes about vocational interests were not applicable. Research found that invalidity of stereotypes reduced propensity to stereotype by half, but did not eliminate it
Vincent Yzerbyt: subjects made stereotypical judgments when they assumed individuating info was present, even if it wasn't available in fact
Task is not to eliminate stereotypical thinking but minimize impact on decisions
Introducing gender or bias linked information can actually increase the degree to which stereotypes shape decisions
Stereotypes in Institutions
Stereotyping in the real world may have larger effects than in a laboratory setting because of history, etc.
"Experimental studies on stereotyping show that male and female job applicants with identical personal traits are matched according to their gender to jobs that are considered predominantly male and predominantly female" (p. 122).
"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 disruptive force in the workplace, compared to male co-workers" (p. 123).
"Word-of-mouth recruitment typically reproduces the existing gender and ethnic composition of a workforce" (p.123).
Favor those with personal ties to a decision maker
Seniority: perpetuates past discrimination and white male dominance of the most rewarding jobs
When applied to hiring decisions or decisions regarding selections of individuals for promotion, etc.
What constitutes job-relevant info. should be established through systematic job analysis
Mechanism must be in place for potential candidates to make interests and qualifications known to those making selections
Substantive oversight of decision making needs to be implemented, beyond simply "signing off" by a higher level supervisor (p. 124)
Implement as part of an org's human resource info. system regular monitoring and analysis of patterns of seg. and differences by gender and race in pay and career
Systematic analysis of feedback from employees about perceptions of barriers and opportunities for career advancement
3 . Explicit evaluation of managers and supervisors on their contributions to an org's EEO goals