THE PROBLEM:

The usual tools for increasing diversity, such as one-time trainings and women’s initiatives, typically don’t work. CITE. Implicit bias often creeps into your performance evaluations and negatively affects your company’s ability to retain and develop talent. CITES The 2016 Workplace Experiences Survey found that 82% of white male lawyers, but only 68% of lawyers of color and 71% of women lawyers, felt their performance evaluations have been fair.

  • Law firm partners found 41% more errors in the same legal brief they thought was written by an African-American, as compared with a white associate.  CITE

A 2014 study of performance evaluations in tech found that 66% of the women were criticized for “personality problems,” such as being “judgmental” or “abrasive,” only 1% of men were. CITE

  • BE A BIAS INTERRUPTER!:
  1. “Priming” works:  Read our Identifying and Interrupting Bias Worksheet LINK to identify the common forms of bias and then quickly review it right before you do a performance evaluation. This simple step can help avoid the common pitfalls of bias. CITE. Suggest to other managers to do the same.
  2. Don’t rely exclusively on self-promotion to share successes within your department. LINK Set up more formal systems for sharing successes, such as a weekly or monthly email that lists employees’ accomplishments that gets factored into evaluations, and be proactive about levelling the playing field.
  3. If you use self-evaluations, hand out the How To Write An Effective Self-Evaluation Worksheet to your reports, and suggest (or require that) they use it. LINK Suggest to other managers they do the same.
  1. Suggest that your department implement Bias Interrupters in your performance review process to interrupt bias. Give your CEO or Managing Partner the Bias Interrupters Memo LINK.