Recognizing and Overcoming Biases in the Workplace:

How unconscious biases hold women back and impacts business

Jennifer Schmidt

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Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

There are several different forms of bias. However, unconscious biases are the most common. Unconscious biases are defined as “an inherent or learned stereotype about people that everyone forms with our realizing” and are developed subconsciously, influenced largely by our environment and the beliefs of those we trust, such as our parents. However, unconscious biases can also be entirely fabricated based on erroneous assumptions about others we develop over time.

Women in the workplace suffer a variety of biases based on stereotypes about women directed toward them. A study conducted by The Harvard Business Review (HBR) found “Stereotypes about women’s capabilities mean that [managers and coworkers] are less likely to connect women’s contributions to business outcomes or to acknowledge their technical expertise.” This connection poses a serious hurdle for women who would like to advance in their careers. Some of the main biases they face are:

  1. Performance/Attribution Bias: Because it is often determined women are less competent than men, women are not given credit for successes and are often blamed for failures.
  2. Likability Bias: Women often feel they must be feminine and nice to be…

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Jennifer Schmidt

Lifestyle turned content marketing and thought leadership writer. I specialize in tech writing and content writing. Find me at: schmidtwrites.com