Who is the object of “gender” bias? Is it women? Sometimes men? “Feminine” vs. “masculine” styles and approaches? All of the above!
We can give logical explanations for portions of the gender gap in pay. But we can’t explain it all without addressing the role of unconscious bias. Some argue that women choose lower paying jobs; there is reason to believe that the jobs held by women are paid less because they are held by women. Sound like bias to you?
I am adding to my pile of studies showing that gender bias is real. This one shows that male biology students over-rated their male colleagues and under-estimated better performing women. This goes in the stack with Heidi vs Howard and Kristen Schilt’s work with 54 transgendered men. Do you know people who still question the existence of gender bias? Share these studies with them. Awareness of our biases is the first step in changing them.
Unconscious gender bias is the root cause of business’ slow progress in capturing the business benefits of gender diversity. Having unconscious bias is simply human as Shankar Vedantam shows in his book “The Hidden Brain.” It is hard to change ways we aren’t even aware we have been wired, taught or acculturated to think. Our approach starts with helping people understand and appreciate both masculine and feminine strengths – in men and women.