22 May Don’t Let Unconscious Bias Keep You from Hiring Top Talent
US small-business owners are more worried about finding good workers than anything else right now, according to a recent National Federation of Independent Business survey. And yet, unconscious bias sometimes keeps companies from hiring those good workers. Worse, it keeps them from retaining those good workers through their post-hire people decisions. We’re talking about when these workers just happen to also be women.
Take pay, for example. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women account for more than half of full-time workers in corporate, management, and service roles. Yet they earn only 76 percent to 85 percent of what men in those same roles make. The numbers are even lower in industries that have been more traditionally male-dominated, such as construction and natural resource industries where women make up just 25% of the labor pool and earn only 66% of their counterparts’ salaries. Several clients Business Results works with are actively striving to improve this by adding more equitable human capital decision practices and far better management training to help leaders at all levels best work with all employees.
Pay isn’t the only pressing factor for women in the workplace. They can face challenges in career advancement, workload division, and less-than-hospitable workplace culture. For example, McKinsey & Company reports that for every 100 men who are promoted to managerial roles, only 87 women are promoted. This creates a gap that puts women behind in their careers and ultimately hurts companies trying to create diverse leadership teams reflective of their broader communities. Women who are part of minority groups face these challenges at even greater rates.
Women also report their contributions are often not acknowledged in performance reviews, and report higher levels of burnout compared to men. All these issues combine create hurdles to women’s success and the success of businesses competing for the best talent in the 21st century. Faced with burnout and unequal pay, women are leaving for work at companies that offer greater flexibility, opportunities for advancement, and equity in labor division and pay.
We know that a manager can “make or break” an employee’s potential in their role. People expect their direct boss to not just manage and critique, but to support their careers and help them develop professionally. As noted earlier, women often face different challenges that managers must be aware of, and act proactively towards. Great managers are open listeners, who actively gather and implement feedback from their employees, all employees, and listen with an open mind. There may be issues they were not even aware of (or worse, ignored!), but great managers work to understand and work past their own biases, to foster an inclusive workplace culture.
Now is the time to review your hiring, promotion, and pay to retain current employees, and make smart human capital decisions moving forward. Business Results’ expert consulting, science, and training offerings help you create a level playing field for all people. We work with clients throughout North America helping them to hire the best people. Post hire, we offer a robust series of leadership development training to ensure that your managers are able to help all employees from new hires to established team members thrive.
With Business Results, managers learn how to be that superhero their workplace needs. They learn to effectively manage to achieve your desired business results.