Advancing Women's Leadership: Blocking Bias at Work

Advancing Women's Leadership: Blocking Bias at Work



hello and welcome everyone good to see you here there's plenty of room if you want to come down closer what I want to do with my colleague Laurie McKenzie today is talk about how we might advance women's leadership and I thought what I would do to get us started on that is give you a sense of where we are in terms of women's leadership in the United States today so the slide here when you take a quick glance at it what you will notice is that women are underrepresented and continue to be underrepresented at the top levels of all sectors of our society so the first two bullet points show us the dearth of women in the corporate sector if we drop down to the third bullet point we see that women make up only 18 percent of our Congress and this was after a year which supposedly just was a watershed of women in earning Congress were still at only 18 percent women a university president sees of our top research universities only 17% of women and as low as these numbers are if we were to drill down and look at women of color they're considerably lower now this is actually really quite surprising in one way and that is it's been over 30 years now since women started outnumbering men and they're earning a bachelor's degrees so any of you who are here from the class of 1980 or 1985 you were you know you were in college about the time when that tipping point happened and if you graduated and say 1990 you were at a period of time here on the farm when people were very optimistic about what was going to happen I'm with women's leadership matter of fact if you read books at the time about gender equality the last chapter says now with women flooding into college and getting bachelor's degrees it's only a matter of time but here we are 30 years later with these numbers and when I think about why this is a problem and maybe that seems obvious to people who come to a talk on women's leadership but I want to point out that in addition to this being a problem for women there's a societal cost to this we have to ask ourselves what important questions and problems aren't being solved by our companies our governments and our universities if women's voices aren't being full more fully included or to flip that around to be positive about it think about what we could doing in our governments in our universities and in our companies if we were more fully drawing on all the talent that women bring to our society so that's what I want to talk about with you today clearly these numbers are low for all kinds of reasons I teach a class one of the freshmen thinking matters class on this topic and we spend the entire quarter talking about all these reasons and how to get beyond this today I want to highlight just one barrier to you that I think is really important and that is I want to draw out the way that stereotypes about gender and work lead to a bias and how in terms of how women are evaluated in the workplace and so what I'm gonna do is spend some time describing that problem to you and showing you that it's more consequential than perhaps we might think and then I'm going to turn it over to Lori Mackenzie who's going to talk about some of the tools that we've been developing to move beyond that bias and to create workplaces that were fully embrace the talent of women in them so I want to just start off with a research study that you may have heard of that got a lot of attention when it came out and really illustrates the kind of things that I want to share with you today and as this picture shows here the context of this study is orchestras in the hiring of musicians into orchestras so in the 70s and 80s in the United States women made up only 5% of all orchestra musicians so this was a really male type space so we do a lot of work at the Clayman Institute and Tech and I think about this and this this was Mort male-type FinTech is today okay and so the orchestras major orchestras around the country became concerned that perhaps one of the reasons there were so few women is that there was a bias against women in the audition process and I think about that you know in the 70s and 80s somebody making that suggestion I'm sure there were lots of people that thought that that seemed ridiculous and doubted that that was kind of the right answer but to these orchestras credit what they did rather than just debating whether or not this was the case they decided to do an experiment and find out and we're always trying to urge the companies we work and do an experiment let's see so what they did is they introduced a screen between the musician auditioning and the panel of judges okay so that the panel of judges can no longer tell if the musician was a male or female now to make it a really good experiment they found out they also needed to put carpet down on the floors because he'll click we're giving it away so what makes a really nice experiment you couldn't tell who this person was and what they found was rather dramatic that is the introduction of the screen increased the odds that a woman would make it past this first round of auditions by a full fifty percent so it made a really big difference okay if you fast forward to today women make up 25% of Orchestra musicians in our top arc orchestras 40% overall still not at parity in orchestras but this screen really did make a difference I'll lead off with this example because it illustrates the two things I want to talk about with you today one is that stereotypes about gender affect how women are evaluated without this screen women were not being seen as competently as they actually were and secondly the screen there are going to be tools that we can develop that are going to allow us to block the negative effects of stereotypes on how women are evaluated now we're not gonna be talking about screens later today we're gonna have to be more creative than that right but since most of us couldn't live our lot work lives behind a screen and wouldn't want to but we do have some tools I think that can help us get beyond bias so that's where you want to get to today so I'm gonna end up with this as my conclusion okay and then we'll work on getting there I want to first show you how stereotypes limit women's leadership okay but all the way through I want to draw out one more thread and it's not only that these stereotypes are limiting women's leadership they're actually interfering with the goal of having meritocratic workplaces meritocratic workplaces that are essential to innovation and discovery what I mean by that is this if we want to be as innovative as we can be if we want to discover the best scientific findings we can find on our universities and in our companies it's essential with the best ideas and the best talents rise to the top and if that's not happening then we're interfering with the goal of meritocracy in addition to limiting women's leadership so let's talk a little bit about how this works my job is to sort of review some of the social science and share some really cool studies with you but before doing that I want to talk a little bit about the the word bias itself bias is a word that often people don't like right it has kind of this ugly connotation to it as if you're calling someone sexist or racist or something but that's not how I'm going to be using the term here today when I talk about bias it's simply going to be an error in decision-making okay so if we think about the orchestra's again I think we can safely assume that most if not all of those judges wanted to hire the best musician possible right they didn't get out of bed in the morning to discriminate against women that wasn't their goal they wanted to hire the best musician possible but for reasons I'm going to explain once they saw the gender of the musician that affected how they saw that person's abilities and skills okay what we're gonna see here today is all of us are prone to these sorts of biases they're unconscious biases if you will okay which is the bad news but the good news is gonna be that there are procedures in place that we can put in place that keep us from acting on these biases so I always describe this is kind of a no blame high responsibility message so that's bias what does that tell us about how stereotypes work so the key idea about stereotypes that we want to talk about today is that stereotypes function is what we might think of as a cognitive shortcut and information processing so let me just talk about the orchestra one last time imagine that Orchestra is auditioning like a hundred musicians for just two or three openings and that would not be uncommon at a major orchestra if you're one of those just judges that's a lot of information to take in right a hundred different people performing you're having to keep all that information straight in those information information heavy context we understandably look for shortcuts to help us process all that information and that's not a bad thing I mean we've really none of us today in our jobs as busy as we are could get anything done at work if we didn't have some sort of shortcuts that we took in processing that information but unfortunately stereotypes about gender and other categories of people function as one of those shortcuts and when they do they're gonna create some I think undesirable outcomes so how does this work this slide here summarizes thirty years worth of work on the on stereotypes so if I'm going through it quickly I'm you know 30 years so what the research shows us about stereotypes is that we instantly within milliseconds secs categorize any person we interact with that is we take notice of whether we think that person is male or female and we do it in just milliseconds okay cannot help doing it in the United States we do this with race as well so the things I'm going to talk about with gender work for race as well in the United States in other countries they have different things that they may instantly categorize people on but in all known societies sex is one of those why is that important well once you put someone in a category or put anything in a category you unconsciously are implicitly expect that that person to be something like that category so research shows here with data from over 30 countries that what happens when we categorize someone as a man is we're more quick to associate him with leadership all the words that have to do with leadership we can make these quick unconscious mental associations with leadership whereas with women instead we make slower associations with leadership but quicker associations with things like being us being a supporter a follower a contributor but not a leader what this means is that for men we tend to expect men to act more like leaders psychologists call this agentic to act active and you know capable of getting things done and decisive and the way that leaders act where we expect women to be warm and communal nice concerned about others the kind of things we might expect of someone who is being supportive and we certainly don't expect women to be dominant and assertive okay we might expect men to be again at an unconscious level better at male type tasks like technology and women better at female type tasks these stereotypic expectations that occur out of awareness are important because they frame or shape how we judge people's performances such the very same performance looks slightly different to us if it had been offered by a man versus a woman we saw that in the case of the orchestras the bottom bar the problem with this then when we're thinking about the world of work and how people might advance into leadership is this then these these quick associations affect how we evaluate people in the workplace whether when we're hiring people thinking about promoting people who to put on projects it affects the kind of opportunities we give to people in the workplace and it affects the amount of influence people have when someone makes a suggestion does it sound like a good idea okay does it sound like something worth funding okay I want to talk to you today about a couple of ways that these stereotypes work and show you some examples and then we'll turn to the important ending point that we want to get to today how do we block these effects okay so the first the first way that stereotypes work is they shift the standard that we use to judge people so it turns out our standards shift around a little bit depending on if we're evaluating a man versus a woman or if we're evaluating in the case of race someone who's white versus a person of color if you think about why this would be I'll use the gender as an example here if a woman performs well and especially if it was in a male type domain this runs counter to those quick associations we have so one thing that we tend to do is to more carefully scrutinize her performance and we do this even if in a situation we're in awe of her so I've been talking a lot about Mary Barra the CEO of General Motors Stanford alum when General Motors announced the new CEO and it was a woman I don't know about you but this caught me by surprise right I it's this is the you know automobile industry who would have seen this coming so I was coming so I found myself reading and reading about you know why it is how does she get to this point in her life if General Motors had announced the new CEO was a man I probably would have just like turned the page and read something else I wouldn't have been news to me but that extra scrutiny can't can under certain circumstances open the door to bias so let me give you a couple of examples of this I want to start with an example that comes from the field of psychology and this is an experiment where what the authors of this study did is they created a resume for a person who had just gotten his or her PhD in psychology so it had some publications on it teaching experience stuff like that and they send it out to psychology faculty all over the United States and they said evaluate this person and importantly tell us whether or not you think this person would be worthy of a tenure-track position in your department the experiment was this half the people out there received the resume with a man's name on it and the other half of the psychology faculty doing the rating received the very same resume except with a woman's name on it so this is a really great way to see whether gender matters right the resume is the same the only things different is the name what they found was again rather striking 79% of the people who got a resume with a man's name on it said he would be worthy of higher compared to only 49% of people who got the same resume except with a woman's name on it and in case you're wondering it did not matter whether the person doing the rating was male or female okay male and female Raiders exhibited the same level of bias we find this constantly in these studies and sometimes this disappoints people they want women to like be better Raiders than men but the the issue is these are stereotypes that we're all kind of commonly aware of and they're affecting our judgments at an unconscious level now in a second phase of the study what they did is they had people evaluate these same resumes except now these people are more experienced okay so now we're talking more about people you might want to move into leadership so they have more grants more publications and the like and what they found with these more advanced candidates is that people wrote four times more doubt raising statements on the rating forms for women compared to men so I would need to see evidence she'd gotten these grants on her own for example notice that extra scrutiny that's going on there or it would be impossible to make such a judgment without seeing teaching evaluations now if you think about it a teaching evaluation and wanting to see people's teaching evaluations before you hire them as a professor that's a very legitimate thing right I would hope that we would want to see that but the criteria is being enforced more rigidly for women than it is for men now I want to just switch gears just slightly and show you another very similar study that was done in the context of race we work a lot at the Clayman Institute for gender research on gender issues but a lot of the things that we're talking about work similarly for race so if we're trying to create create more inclusive workplaces a lot of the take-home messages here will be the same so this study was done in 2014 and what the authors of the study did is they created a legal memo that was ostensibly written by a third-year a law associate named Thomas Meyer who had gotten his law degree at NYU and in the memo what they did is they embedded it with certain numbers of errors so there were some spelling errors there were some factual errors and there were some analytical errors and then they sent it out to law partners and asked the law partner to rate the memo and give the person some feedback on how they were doing vary and so the experiment the very to the last one the only difference was that half the people were told that Thomas Mayer was white and the other half were told that he was black but the middle is the same and what we find is this there were three times more edits and comments written on the black Thomas Meyers memo the compare to the white version okay again the same memo and they were twice as likely to find mistakes so notice again that extra scrutiny that's going on for the person for whom people probably didn't expect they were gonna be as good to start with they were doing what they were supposed to here right they were supposed to be finding the mistakes but the person over here was getting kind of a leniency bias and this is what we see a lot in these studies is this extra scrutiny of women and people of color with criteria that's very legitimate being applied more rigidly to them this affected how people rated the memos not surprisingly the rating was considerably and significantly higher for white Thomas Mayer than for black Thomas Mayer and it also affected their qualitative judgments so the white Thomas Mayer is generally a good writer has potential black Thomas Mayer needs lots of work can't believe he went to NYU so these sort of drastic differences in how they're talking about this performance so you can imagine how this would affect of an advancement into leadership going forward one final example I want to give in this area comes from some work that I've done and you know when we think about the experiences women have in the workplace the experiences women had in the workplace are not just because they're a woman because no one's just a woman right you're a woman you're also you have a race you have a sexual orientation you might have children you might not you might be disabled and all these other things combine to affect the judgments that we make of people so I've done some work I'm looking at how being a mother might lead to disadvantages in the workplace there's some literature out there on wage gaps that show that mothers experienced a 5 to 7 percent wage penalty per child compared to childless women ok and this is if you're comparing men and women I mean childless women and mothers who are the same kind of jobs so I was concerned whether this kind of biasing process might be affecting mothers as well so what we did is an experiment where we had people evaluate either two women or two men one of whom was a parent in one of was childless so down in the resume of one of the two members of the pair you learned that the person was an officer in an elementary parent-teacher Association okay that's a subtle indicator that someone might be a parent I mean you don't have to be a parent to be an officer in an elementary school Parent Teacher Association but I don't really think ever in the history of the PTA has there been an officer who was not a parent so this very effectively conveyed parent status now before starting the study what we did is we pre tested all of our materials to be sure we had two people who when we didn't know their their gender and we didn't know their parental status were judged to be equally qualified so just based on their resumes and performance evaluation so there was no difference put names on the files mark one is a parent what happens all of a sudden the childless the mother is seen as significantly less hireable so they would they said they would recommend 84% said they would recommend the person who was childless compared to only forty seven percent for the mother further if they were going to hire the person they were gonna pay her significantly and substantially less okay so we see some evidence of a bias for fathers no such bias in fact feathers fathers are actually preferred compared to childless women and if they're going to be hired their way to be paid significantly more than childless men so we see how Parenthood's working differently for moms than for dads we drilled down one more to try one more layer to try to figure out what's going on here and what we found is that people were stereotyping the mothers as being less competent at their jobs and less committed to them compared to the fathers who were seen as more competent and more committed to their jobs now when I got these results you know I sort of suspected that we get this difference in commitment because there's pretty strong stereotypes out there that mothers aren't as committed to their jobs it's it turns out that there's not a lot of data to support that but there is these stereotypes but the confidence things kind of weird why would someone all of a sudden be like less have less brain power after they had a child so I went to talk to one of my friends Deborah Brodie in the law school and I was telling her about this and she had just done some work where she was interviewing law associates coming back from maternity leave and these law associates were complaining that when they came back from maternity leave they were getting his interesting of work anymore they were getting like paralegal level work and not the kind of work they'd been getting before and she told me that one of the people that she interviewed told her boss I had a baby not a lobotomy to kind of drive home that point so what we've seen here is that stereotypes can lead to this extra scrutiny right we've seen it now for women we saw it for african-american men we've seen it from others we might ask whether or not but whether or not women might be able to overcome doubts about their competence and get beyond the effects of stereotypes I mean what stereotypes are doing is causing us to see people as less competent than they are could we get past this barrier by asking women to self-promote you know toot your own horn make sure people are listening to you could that help get beyond this barrier well Laurie Redman has done some interesting work in this regard she's done a series of experiments where her people are evaluating people who are interviewing for a job so if you were in this study you'd be watching somebody who was interviewing for a job and then you would give feedback to that person half the people are interviewing women half the people I mean half the people are rating women half the people are rating men and half the people are rating people who are modest so in the interview they talk about what they've done but maybe they give credit to their teammates or I got lucky or something like that the other half are evaluating people who are self promoting so you can imagine this person I drove sales I did this a lot of the language of I so the question is does this work we often tell this to women you know you need to you need to self promote if you don't toot your own horn no one else will I don't know if you've heard that saying it's interesting that's a very Western saying and in certain Eastern countries there's the corollary statement that says the loudest duck gets shot okay that means something different then you know toot your own horn but in the police the nitesite so many Western countries this all we tell people does it work well it turns out for both men and women yes people who self promoted both men and women were judged to be more competent than there are more modest counterparts so it raised people's sense of perceived competence that's a good thing but for women it also decreased their likability so these more self promoting women were seen as more competent but people didn't like them okay what's going on there well our stereotypes about women are that they should be modest not dominant or assertive this was a violation of a stereotype and was creating what scholars call this likeability penalty men occur no such penalty okay they were the more self promoting man was just as like it says more modest counterpart now you might think so what you know if I'm interviewing for a job I want to be seen as competent that's more important than likeable right that unites it's the trade-off I would rather be competent and likeable right is my colleague Maggie Neal here in the Graduate School of Business likes to say if you want to be liked get a dog you know I mean this is this is work you know but it does it turns out it matters okay for the man who was more self promoting he was more likely to be recommended for hire people liked him and they thought he was competent that's a win-win but for the woman who was more self promoting she was no more likely to be hired people didn't want to hire her because they didn't like her and they didn't want to hire her more modest counterpart because they didn't think she was very confident okay so this is a bad trade-off right this likeability penalty is especially important for women as they move into leadership roles because leadership roles are really about sort of enacting more magenta excel promoting behavior to some extent okay so if we're trying to advance women's leadership we've got to get past this likeability penalty I want to show you one more example of the way stereotypes work and then we'll turn to solutions and that is stereotypes also can shift around the very criteria we use when making decisions about people so I'll just show you this particular study this study the context is people are being considered to be hired as a police chief so police chief is a leadership position you know head of the police department it's also a kind of mail typed job and so what the authors of this study did is they created resumes for two candidates for police chief okay and they created them to be equivalently qualified except one person had more education that was relevant to being a police chief and the other person had more experience so these are kind of two criteria you might care about and one person's strong on one and one strong on the other and that's often when we're making hiring and promotion decisions that's how it is somebody seems better on this hand but the other ones better on that hand so in the first phase of the experiment they have no names on the file we don't know who's male or female or anything else about him except what they've done on the job and what we find is that people overwhelmingly prefer the person on the left and when they're asked to justify their choice they say he has more education or this person has more education so all this is telling us is in this population people are waiting the criteria of education more heavenly than their waiting experience okay so that's all we've learned in the next wave of the experiment what they do is they put names on the files they get a different set of raters to rate the two applicants okay and now we have the man's name on the file that has more education and the woman's name on the file that has more experience so what we would expect here is that people you know based on what we learned in the first condition of the experiment we would expect that people would prefer the man because he has more education and education seems to be the criteria that people were waiting more heavily and that's what we find okay so people preferred the man and I've asked to justify their choice they said he has more education what gets interesting is this third condition okay now we grab a different set of raters okay we give them the same two resumes we just swapped the names around so now the woman's name is on the file with more education and I've seen a couple people the room laughing they see where this is going right so what we is the criteria that carries the day if it's where we're waiting things more heavily we would expect that the woman will be chosen for the job and all people shaking their heads are betting no would make any sense if this was in my slide show with that was what happened and instead what happens is they still prefer the man and when they justify their choice it's because he has more experience so notice what's happened is the criteria has shifted from education to experience to justify probably what what was people's gut hunch this person was more right for the job okay so we've seen a lot of depressing stuff here on Reunion Weekend back on a sunny day on the farm right we've seen how stereotypes shift our criteria around our standards around the likeability pilly all this let's end on a positive note by talking how we can get beyond these effects okay and what I want to suggest is that our solutions share one thing in common and that is they have to break the tendency to use stereotypes as a shortcut that's what got us into trouble to begin with good well-intentioned people who are very busy trying to process all the information on their job and at an implicit or unconscious way stereotypes are affecting those judgments so how can we get beyond that been doing a lot of work at the Clayman Institute on a project that we colloquially like to call sea bias block bias I'm working with companies in the Silicon Valley and beyond to first help people see bias in their workplace because these biases are unconscious or implicit they're often hard to see so what can we do to help people see bias and then what kind of tools can we devise to block the use of that bias well on the seeing bias front one thing that really helps is teaching people about how stereotypes work once people understand how stereotypes work they tend to be more careful and thoughtful in their own decision-making so this is a good first step however it's not gonna take us all that far and I think we all know why that has any kind of education or training that you've ever had even if it was really impactful right it impacts you a lot today and maybe next week in the week after it's like a New Year's resolution right we're good in January we're still okay in February March comes it's gone these things wear off and I think about this on Reunion Weekend every time you know I'm you know on campus I think about like what if I could remember all the stuff I had learned at Stanford I hadn't forgotten any of it how smart I would see these things were away so we're gonna have to do something more than just educate people we're gonna have to change the way we work so what I want to end with and then I'm going to turn it over to Laurie I want to talk just a little bit about what organizations can do to get beyond bias and then Laurie is going to talk about what we as individuals can do okay and that's how we'll end up today so in terms of what organizations can do there's really two broad buckets of things that we like to work on the first is that we can change the stereotypes about leadership or more generally change the stereotypes in our organization about what success is like so in the case of leadership even though we know that leaders embody a diverse array of traits people's stereotypes about leaders are very narrow they're the Steve Jobs of the world these these boring geniuses that you know drive change even if they have to step on people it doesn't matter we this with stereotypes about leadership and that causes women to not see themselves as being as leader like and it causes people judging women's performances to not see them as being as leader like the America sociation of women in science is an interesting example here this is a group of women's groups that are across the 22 professional science societies in in our country so like the American Chemical Society for example and what they noticed is that women were winning very few career achievement awards the awards that signal that you're just at the pinnacle of your career very few women were getting them even though the pipeline of women was getting fuller and fuller so what they did in some of the societies was an experiment where they changed the words they used in the call for nominations and rather than describing the person is just being a genius and path-breaking they said please nominate people who've had considerable achievements in their career and that makes sense because these were career achievement awards right but that language changing that language caused many more women to apply for the awards and for women to start winning the awards at a higher rate so broadening stereotypes about leadership and success can be useful secondly we need to change our evaluation processes when we're hiring and promoting people to block the effects of stereotypes and I'm going to give you just a few quick examples here one is that we need to develop clear criteria before people make evaluations that police chief study I told you about there was one final condition and in this condition what they said to the new set of raters is this before we show you any applicants write down what really matters to you and guess what people wrote down education and then when they saw women who had more education they chose them for the job there's about two decades with a research now that shows the clearer the criteria the more likely we are to hire and promote women and people of color when you have clear criteria you don't need the shortcuts that stereotypes provide secondly we need to ensure that the criteria is evenly applied okay to all people so think back to the psychology study I would need to see evidence of her teaching evaluations if you're in a meeting and someone says something like that well somebody in the room needs to be doing and we call this person a criteria monitor this person needs to be saying if we're going to consider teaching evaluations why don't we go back and apply that to everyone okay that can be very helpful third we need to increase accountability and transparency okay with accountability people are asked to justify their choices and when people have to justify who they're hiring or who they're promoting they tend to make more thoughtful decisions they ain't you know if I'm gonna have to explain to you why I preferred someone I can't just say it was a hunch and I have to sort of think through what the criteria are and how the person mapped onto those transparency posting numbers keeping track of how you're doing in terms of hiring women and other diverse groups we do this at Stanford every year in the spring quarter one of the Vice Provost comes to the Faculty Senate and gives a report that we call gains and losses and basically what we're doing here is we're looking at how have we done in gaining women faculty and gaining faculty of color relative to losing those groups of people the goal is that we want our faculty to look more like our student body and by being transparent and collecting data on that we keep ourselves focused on that goal and managing towards that goal and then finally question don't assume meritocracy we work in a place especially here in the Silicon Valley where people tend to think that their organization is meritocratic their quantitative data – oriented people and they think they are meritocratic but recent research has shown that organizations who think they are meritocratic are actually more prone to bias ease than organizations that know that they still have work to do okay so if meritocracy is your goal but if you treat it like a reality it undermines the goal it makes sense when you think about it right if you think you already are meritocratic there's no bias ease in your organization you don't have a problem you're probably not gonna become that conscious of trying to solve the problem so questioning meritocracy is constantly asking in wanting evidence about how we're doing in terms of being fair and hiring a promotion is actually really quite important now I know that not everyone here isn't running an organization where these points are that relevant so what I want to do is turn it over to Laurie who is now going to talk a little bit with you about what individuals can do tomorrow to start driving us towards a world that is more meritocratic I think you've seen from the research that were in a society with these shared cultural beliefs it's something we all share so sometimes people say that's the point in the presentation where you're kind of enthusiasm goes down it's my job to bring you back up to that we can do something together I'm gonna actually ask you to see the unseen and when I think about that I think about these puzzles how many of you can see the face of an old lady in this puzzle okay and how many of you can see the face of a young lady in this puzzle oh great it's funny when I do this with a lot of tech companies the young face gets a lot of hands and the old face doesn't get as many so I think we have some age bias going on in Silicon Valley so the interesting thing is it can actually take you some time to be able to see both these faces at the one Reunion Weekend this young boy had never seen it and he got in about a minute and sometimes I find the older I get the harder it is for me to see both sides of an equation the good news is though that what we learned is once your brain identifies both it cannot unsee them again so I hadn't seen this puzzle for about five years and when it showed it to me again I make oh yeah there's an old face in a young face so our goal with all of our bias training is to ensure that we present you a way to see bias in the way you can't and see it again and then to have the tools to be able to block bias we're gonna start with an experiment in language so yes you get to do this classes of thought quizzes I'm not going to quiz you but we're gonna do some experiments together we're gonna do an experiment in language because language is the most common way that we maintain and replicate cultures in our families in our communities and in our workplaces I'm gonna have you do an experiment so you must you should have gotten a piece of paper when you came in you don't have to use it I find also people a lot of people like to use their devices so there's a piece of paper we have some pens as well and all I want you to do is describe a top performer so if you think of that in a workplace context it might be a team you're on and there's one person you can always count on it could be in your community where I live there's this one family they always host all the block parties so I would count on her all the time to host these that family to host the block parties it could be in your family so my job in my family is to plan our vacations and in that context I would be called the top performer of my family's vacation planning so whatever context you have think of a top performer and on that sheet of paper just take a minute to describe in a few words the behaviors and attributes of that top performer doesn't have to be a complete sentence or a resume just a few words to describe a top performer whether it's at home at work or in your family and thank you for passing out the pens you thought this was classes without quizzes so think of that person in particular and not a general top performer and a few words to describe the behaviors and attributes of that top performer okay does everyone have at least one word down for their top performer great now here's the thought experiment and I'm going to show you two descriptions and they're written differently intentionally so this is never gonna be how it would show up in life but just come along with me on this journey of this thought experiment imagine that I've taken that top performer away and I'm gonna show you the description of two different people and I'm gonna have you pick the person to replace your top performer so for example in my family if I no longer we're planning our vacations I'd say to my family pick the person to plan the top vacation right so in the workplace that could be on your team imagine that person got recruited or promoted out of your team and you're looking for a replacement and I'm gonna ask you to pick description a or description B to replace your top performer okay and yes they're written very differently this is just an experiment now how many would replace their top performer with description a okay it would sits 15% 20% how about with the description B hey maybe 75% alright interesting did you notice I've been priming you all the time by saying top performer top performer top performer notice how language has created an association of a type of person and even when you're asked to pick a substitution for that person with just four words were able to do it 80 percent of us pick description a if I had said instead imagine the person you can on the most to support you in your times of need even if that's the same person you might have picked a different description notice how language is priming us to make associations as Shelley said and make decisions off just a few words now why does this matter researchers at Rice University went through 400 letters of recommendation for the position of medical chief imagine medical chief is the person who's making life-or-death situations for a lot of people and the researchers noticed that the more communal language that was used which is description a the less likely a candidate was to be put forward so when I think of communal language I think of it as the language of we of community and of collaboration the more agentic language that was used so when I think of a gentle language I think of agency or the language of I I am independently driving to an outcome the more a communal language that was used the less likely that candidate was to be put forward now thinking about us during a presentation on women's leadership guess what kind of person is more likely to be described with communal language women with the exact same qualifications so the letter writers are the people who most want this person to be considered as the top candidate and simply by using language that was more communal in nature their advocacy was less effective why does this matter so as Shelley said we're using stereotypes as these cognitive shortcuts now are there any native Russian speakers in the room now okay so apparently in Russian there's two words for the color blue so if I showed you something that was blue and you're a native Russian speaker your brain would take a slight longer bit to sort it because you're starting is that blue or is that like blue or dark blue but in English there's only one color so if I show you something that's blue you'll sort it more quickly so the more binary something is the faster our brain can make these decisions the more shades of gray there are the slower those cognitive processes are now part of what starts to happen is you assume in this binary world that the other doesn't exist so if I assume that you're very communal you're very good team player I might wonder are you also willing to drive a decision home and if you're more a gent ik you're more driven I might wonder are you also able to be a great team player now here's the thing about leadership when we're asked quickly to decide about someone's leadership we're more likely to associate leader with agentic qualities even though we want to spectrum of qualities with leadership when we're making those cognitive shortcuts we're much more likely to rely on agenting terms in making those decisions so you can see that the very use of language as an automatic function seeing somebody who's equally qualified but foregrounding different qualifications has them show up differently when being evaluated for a leadership position here's the kind of list there is that list is also on the back of your handout for you to use oftentimes my friends will use this so I just wrote a letter of recommendation for somebody to get into college and submitted it to the common app and I was very conscious of the kind of language that I was using in my letter of recommendation often people will go looked at their LinkedIn profiles to see how they described their own accomplishments or they might even look at their and LinkedIn endorsements how have you in a quick you know endorsement of someone use language that might not have them seem as much of a leader ever friend who's a project manager and she's really effective and she said everyone just says I'm friendly and no one says I'm strategic as if oh she's also Asian Asians are perceived to be very good at tasks so when someone sees her they see the task orientation she has and they forget that she was very strategic in how she planned the events so after she did the presentation the next time she asked for a LinkedIn endorsement she primed that person to talk about certain qualifications she had so she would finally have a LinkedIn endorsement that didn't say she's really good at managing tasks I just want to give you an example so at our Institute were often given informal recommendations so we were hiring someone for a job someone will send a note to someone to send to us so that they know that their person should be highly considered for a job so I want to show you a little bit of that I'm gonna diagnose the language that was used this is also a warning never send me a letter of recommendation if you don't want it to show up on screen and I'm just kidding so this is for someone who worked on Capitol Hill it was for us one of our most senior positions it's for the position of marketing director and this person went to one person to another person to really get me this because as you see this was high high praise for this candidate I'm gonna do SPECT to the language a little bit notice the words in black these are her strongest endorsements of the candidate notice it's very vague scholar of what professional who led what accomplishment so even this was high praise I actually don't know much more about this candidate then I would from a letter that didn't say much about her another thing we know about women is they're more often described through their personalities then with their accomplishments and when they're commish Mints are described they're often much more vague and they don't have business outcomes attached to it so this is another trend we know from our research notice that word actually she and I actually worked together our research also shows that there are many more doubt raising statements in women's performance evaluations she managed to lead a good team not she led a good team in the end she managed to deliver the project on time why do we need to say in the end in the end implies there wasn't I was going to be on track right so this kind of doubt raising statement we also find is much more common in our evaluations of women and lastly look at the traits of this person so this person I later learned was a highly rated scholar who had used her scholarship to advance an agenda that went to Congress none of that was mentioned here all I got was that she was passionate committed and determined now I don't know about you as a woman I'm often called tired tirelessly dedicated Antonis that's code for something but when we look through the performance evaluations of women they're also more commonly coded as tirelessly dedicated and one things I always think it's so funny is we're in this culture of genius right we want the next Steve Jobs we want the next startup in this culture of genius it kind of is supposed to just come to you and the rest of us are working tirelessly and dedicated so this research we did as I talked about was performance evaluations which we redacted and took the gender out and then we evaluated them for the way language was used the reason we do this at the Clayman Institute is that we want to provide practical solutions for companies to then block bias in their processes so if I broadly say to you don't make vague praise that's one thing but if I said here's exactly the way vague praise works in your company you'll more able to train people not to use praise in that way so this was posted recently in the Wall Street Journal it's part of a two-year research project we've been working on with some sites across the country to understand exactly how does bias play out you can see some of the things we talked about women are given much less feedback and when they are given feedback it's not very specific so I thought this was fake but it's an actual citation when one was told to show it more at work that was her feedback she got I don't really know for why what would that can be and what would that provide for me to produce more results the man on the other hand was told combined technology a was technology B and together that will help you launch this new platform you can hear that that vagueness doesn't really help me much on my job so women are getting less developmental feedback they're getting a lot more criticism of their communication style do you remember Shelley talked about the likeability penalty the way the likeability penalty will show up at work is you'll either be called not clear and concise at entry-level or off-putting at the senior level so we notice the way communication shows up as a likeability penalty in performance reviews we're really excited that we're launching this new research in a three part launch and more excited that we'll be launching this research as part of a national summit in March 2017 thanks to the generous support of GSB alum Bruce golden and his wife Michelle Michelle Mercer who was an undergrad and law degree will be launching this as a national conversation to try to see in black bias in all of our workplaces so this is the end of our presentation because we promise to allow some time for questions so she I do want to come back on stage oh oh one action you can do tomorrow I said I would give you solutions that you could do tomorrow one thing you can do endorse a woman do you remember when Shelly said that if you toot your own horn people might not like you an experiment was done where a professor said in one experiment here's my TA and just mentioned her name in another condition he tooted her horn for her and said how amazing she was what publications she had why they should listen to her in the condition where the professor tooted the horn for her her ratings went up so even if women might have to navigate the likeability penalty around Tooting their own horn you can toot their horn for her so always introducing a woman making sure you vouch for her competence is one way that you can work towards her being recognized as an expert as a leader another thing you can do is just block the automatic use of language don't write a letter of recommendation without thinking what am I trying to say about somebody you could also add notice this with my kids too what I'm criticizing about them by gender and trying to make sure I do that equally for them and lastly you can update your resume or LinkedIn profile perhaps someone you know update their resume or LinkedIn profile to be reflective of their true accomplishments in ways that will help them attain everything that they want in leadership so with that we'll see if you have any questions it's a couple of microphones in there I have a question if you could go to the microphone otherwise we have to repeat it we may botch it so yes thanks so much this is really helpful and for me I worked at the World Bank in Washington and we're actually going through an edge survey right now as part of the gender strategy for the organization and I I hope that they make the comments public for at least the staff I mean because they did when it was both men and women commenting and this is something that's going to adjust to the women so but a lot of this resonates very much my question is I'm the mother of three teenage girls and my middle daughter is you know I think has a lot of very intrinsic leadership qualities but those things can sometimes be make it difficult she's you know in the tenth grade and I'm looking for you know different kinds of programs or ways to support her I mean and all three of them but especially her that she's got that when we were in the power I was in the power when earlier you know the little girl that was many of you were in that one but they were talking about girls versus boys she's got some of those characteristics that are you know sometimes off-putting I think to both girls and boys and I want to help to you know give her the tools she needs as well as my other girls I just wondered if you had anything for the kind of that next generation yeah I should say that that's a it's a very it's a very common finding with with young with young girls that are exhibiting leadership behavior to be called you know bossy for example which is a derogatory term and I think serves to dampen their ambition and I mean it's something I think we just absolutely don't want to do so the question is what can we do that to provide a good space for them to develop those skills and recognize those skills I mean I think one you know as a you know to Laurie's point about endorsing the competence of other people to sort of to very clearly try to correct some of those things amongst the people who might be critical of her so I think it's you know important when a girl is exhibiting leadership skills and and there's negative attention drawn to that for somebody to be able to say about her you know I think she actually could be running her class or something like the best sheryl sandberg lips to say say she has executive presence instead of she's bossy but to reframe what it means to be a leader for a young girl I think is actually really important and then there's all kinds of starting to emerge new kinds of workshops and things that you can send her to where she'll be around other people who appears that are more like her which helps validate that so we've been we have a program we call seeds of change that is a middle school high school girls kind of a Leadership Program and not only does it teach skills but it puts them in contact with other girls who value those same skills and that's very important is to have that peer group it's a great question yeah we also have some free videos online under voice and influence so their professors like making meal from the business goal and Debbie Grund felt here as well and I have a girl who's in seventh grade and I've watched them with her and talked about them and one of the things we know about young girls is you can't always figure out what their peers will say can give them ideas about how you can frame opportunities for them the know thing to think about is what's there why they're doing things being in touch with a leadership purpose or a vision purpose or something like that can help you figure out oh maybe it's worth having someone call me bossy because I'm gonna go change the world so sometimes our work feeds have changed part of what's in there is fine helping young girls find the why and then going back to that why when they do face some of that pushback externally okay so we'll go here and then over here next go ahead okay as the feedback loops and the degree to which women receive positive feedback role of two men how much is any work been done on looking at the at the sexuality aspect positive input is the language of intimacy at some level and some men feel far more uncomfortable with that or knowing how to rephrase or reframe what they want to say so that it doesn't take on context or that doesn't bother their own subconscious feelings has there been any work on this yeah you know there's so they're there there is some work that shows that that is one of the barriers that some men will describe and say mentoring women for example I mean you know how is it gonna look I mean you know you know hanging out with this woman in a bar you know how are people gonna read that and worrying about those kind of things I think the the solution to that is similar to a lot of the other solutions that we've offered and that is we need more clear criteria about how you do mentorship how you how you give feedback so for example on the work we're doing with language we've been evaluated performance evaluations and you know the language use is overly creative I mean people are writing things that are just crazy in some of these reviews it's just not good so what we've been doing is working a little bit on teaching people what kind of things you say because if you're a manager and you're told these are the kind of things you talk about and your subordinate knows these are the kind of things your manager is gonna say it's not gonna be misread it's gonna be what the company is suggesting that people do so we have to provide tools to help people training in mentorship exactly and the and what's appropriate behavior of the part of the mentor and what the mentors own subconscious feelings are during that interface because we're doing a video actually in our new voice and influencer series on having effective mentoring relationships and we talked about the roadblocks which include protective hesitation on the part of the mentor to give hard feedback and protective defensiveness on the part of the mentee to hear the hard feedback so we'll be tackling that next year yes hi I'm Suzanne Butler I'm class of 1964 50 years ago when I was an undergraduate at Stanford there were almost no women on the faculty George Spindler was chairman of the anthropology department and my one experience was a woman faculty member was his wife Lois Spindler and she was a teaching assistant or something along those lines these gender ratio at the undergraduate level I think was five men to three women might have been five to two I thought that was great but that was then my question now is how much progress has Stanford me on hiring women at full faculty and giving them tenure yeah so so I chair the Provost Committee on faculty equity so I usually have these data handy so I should say the student body level we're doing great okay I meets you know like most universities really pretty close to 5050 at the faculty level at this point in time amongst our assistant professors were 27 percent female okay so we're a little over a quarter when it comes to full professors were more between 21 and 22 percent so about one in five so we're not where we want to be we're not that's not that's kind of on par with our peers so it's not like you know Stanford's having a unique problem here but we're not we're not where we want to be with that and I think there's a real concerted effort especially on trying to hire women in the STEM fields and in the business school where women are especially in low numbers and and importantly trying to hire faculty of color as well but we're not where we want to be at this point yet with that partly this is you know there's okay on so on tenure when we talk about tenuring people from assistant to you know to associate professor there is not a gender gap and who gets tenured and this is this i think the university has given a lot of thought to how it is that we are evaluating people for 10 years so it's not that gender never matters but overall the pattern looks really pretty good there so our question I think it's really a bit our challenge is hiring people and getting them here and then I think I think we're doing okay on the other dimension I see we're almost out of time maybe we could do one more question and then I'm happy to answer a few questions individually afterwards but so I think she was here first is that I'm sorry your comment on seeing the bias as the mother of a tuba player female tuba player five years ago when the woman was hired for the Philadelphia Symphony and there was all the news articles on how a woman had finally landed the position none of them mentioned that women had been winning the position for years on the blind auditions and that when they saw a woman was and chose on the blind auditions they redid them visible not one news article so I wrote in about the statistics because I had them on a tuba player with a master's degree is there a place we should keep our eye to to check in with some of the statistics because my awareness is businesses all the time I'm with people who do not see acknowledge that there is a bias and I have to have constant statistics language to keep asking having paraphrase asking for more information can you give us something to keep our eye – yeah so this that you know the statistics are gonna be spread out depending on what the category is but I but I want to just I just want to underline what you're doing as being very important that is you know now it's pretty easy to google and find statistics on things when someone says to you you know there are no women here there are no women in the pipeline there are no women that are eligible for this that we should not take that as an answer that's almost always not the case right so if I see you know major awards have just been given to people and there's only one woman there out of you know all ten people that have been nominated I write and say where are the women and often I hear back well no one nominated them are done in a day there's all these excuses but there are women out there and I think we have to help point that out to people so I would just underscore that in those situations if you hear there are no women dig a little bit and find some forum because there are women there and we need to help promote women all of us if we're going to really advance women's leadership and I'll just end by saying again I mean this is not just about women this is about you know this is about really driving the best innovation scientific discovery and solving the biggest problems in our world we need to have all people involved if the cure for cancer is in you know the head of some young african-american woman and we're not listening to her we're all losing out on that so we really this is something that really affects us at a societal level thank you all very much you

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