Unconscious Mindsets: De-valuing the Feminine?

Three recent studies demonstrate the depth of unconscious bias that affects women. These “mindsets” keep women (and minorities) from reaching their potential in business. One study showed that transgendered men (formerly women in the workplace) got higher performance ratings and greater access once they became men. Another showed higher evaluations of the same resume when it had a man’s name than when it had a woman’s name. Another showed more positive response to an identical e-mail when the name indicated the sender was a man than when it indicated the sender was a woman or person of color. Women and people of color will be proportionally represented in leadership ranks only when these mindsets arise to conscious awareness – and change.

Gender Diversity and Those Darn “Mindsets”

McKinsey & Company issues an annual report called “Women Matter.” McKinsey has researched the bottom-line value of gender diversity, what has been effective in successful gender diversity initiatives – and what is still in the way. One of the things in the way is “unacknowledged mindsets.” “Cultural factors” are a key reason so few women reach the top. Culture reflects the “mindsets” of an organization’s leaders. The key to creating an inclusive culture is bringing unconscious mindsets to consciousness so attitudes and behaviors shift. In our workshops, we help bring awareness to those mindsets – the double bind, the comfort principle and unconscious images.