How Rampant Is Gender Bias In Performance?

When considering critical issues of our time, gender equity ranks among the most important given the sheer number of people facing inequity.  When looking at the last year of data, we see that while progress has been made, a great deal of work remains head.

At at high level, Quix performance rating data says that male employees are rated by their managers 10% higher than females.  Looking further into the data, we can see though how this imbalance actually increases the higher the level of performer goes.  Here we can see that while males and females are evaluated similarly at the bottom end of the performance spectrum, as the quality of the performer increase, the gap between male and female ratings gets ever wider.


Speaking qualitatively, we can also see troubling indicators.  For example when we evaluate the comments that accompany ratings, we can observe the language.  When grouping certain words & phrases that indicate more "powerful" behavior or those that indicate more "amiable" behavior, the data reveals men continue to be identified for their powerful behavior and women for their amiable behavior. 


Lest we think this problem is confined to just male raters versus female raters, the data revealed that female managers actually are a larger cause for the gap than male managers.  Female managers rate female staff 15% lower than their male employees, while male managers rate female staff only 8% lower than male employees.  There has been a significant amount of research regarding female managers and their tendency to be bias against other women, in regards to having higher expectations and expecting more from them.  Our data analysis shows that this is statistically verifiable and relevant.  


Everyone agrees gender equity is a goal worth attaining and our data reveals work remains ahead.  Hopefully being able to see these specifics will allow organizations to focus their improvement efforts where help is needed most.