Unconscious bias creeps into every segment of leadership, and performance feedback is no exception.
According to a Stanford study:
- Men receive two-thirds more feedback as women about technical expertise, assertiveness, and independence.
- Women’s performance reviews have 2.4 times as many references to team accomplishments rather than individual results.
- Vague feedback given to women provides little to no guidance on next steps.
Interestingly, directionless feedback is provided to women by both men and women, rendering it difficult to make the case to advance female employees, which in turn does nothing to better the balance in the C-suite.
Leaders must overcome these biases and provide clear, actionable feedback for all genders, identifying areas for development, providing specific information on how their performance affects business goals as well as how the individual “measures up” within the team, and clear directions on what to do to create a way forward.
Bottom line: Even performance reviews need performance reviews. During my session at ATD 2020, we will explore how to structure your feedback to remove gender bias and provide clear, actionable messages that follow a consistent template and provide insights instead of insults. To even the playing field, we will discuss how to establish a consistent feedback process and craft messages that are directly tied to team goals and how to provide specific areas for improvement.