About two years ago, a midsize U.S. law firm reached out to the Center for WorkLife Law to learn how bias was surfacing in their performance evaluations. The firm’s D&I director had spot-checked a sample of supervisor evaluations for bias and identified several red flags. They decided they wanted to go a step further and take a data-driven approach. (Music to our ears!)
We started by conducting an audit of the firm’s performance evaluations. The vast majority seemed useful and appropriate. But when we looked closer at the data, we found sobering differences by both race and gender. Most dramatic was that only 9.5% of people of color received mentions of leadership in their performance evaluations — more than 70 percentage points lower than white women. Not surprisingly, leadership mentions typically predicted higher competency ratings the next year.
We recommended a number of interventions — what we call bias interrupters — and agreed to test their efficacy by looking at the firm’s performance evaluations the following year.
The good news? The results of the interventions were striking. We saw sharp improvement in a single year. Here’s how. READ MORE
by Joan C. Williams, Denise Lewin Loyd, Mikayla Boginsky, and Frances Armas-Edwards
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, corporate interest in DEI is higher than ever. But has this increased attention racial justice and inequity led to real, meaningful change? The authors conducted interviews with more than 40 CDOs before and after summer 2020 and identified four major shifts in how these leaders perceived their companies’ engagement with DEI.
Mid-career women are often surprised by the levels of bias and discrimination they encounter in the workplace, especially if they’ve successfully avoided it earlier in their careers. After speaking to 100 senior women executives, the authors identified three distinct kinds of bias and discrimination faced by mid-career women. They describe each bias and conclude with recommendations for overcoming them.
Bain research shows that men and women have consistent motivations when it comes to work, across factors like financial orientation and camaraderie. They also have similar attitudes on inclusion, with fewer than 30% feeling included in the workplace. Despite a lack of intrinsic differences, women and men continue to have different outcomes and experiences at work, due to meaningful imbalances in occupation choice, prioritization of flexibility, and the perpetuation of biases.