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Ensure Gender Equity in Performance Feedback

Thursday, March 19, 2020

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.

About the Author

Denise Reed Lamoreaux is the global chief diversity officer at Atos, and brings 30+ years of leadership, marketing and communication, and learning and development experience to her role. Denise has aligned with recruiting, Corporate Social Responsibility, the compliance network and learning and development to ensure that the diversity dimensions (gender, generations, culture, LGBT+, and accessibility) are interwoven into business processes, and that learning opportunities focus on D&I topics.

Denise brings her passion for diversity and inclusion to the programs she develops and delivers, and to the We Are Atos Employee Experience Program. Two recent achievements are the launch of Skillsoft’s Women In Action program, and the implementation of Textio, which will aid us in creating unbiased job descriptions.

During her tenure, Atos has been recognized externally in several categories, joined organizations such as the ILO, and signed the UN Standards of Conduct for Business,’s Parity Pledge, and L’ Autre Cercle’s charter.

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