Equality is something that benefits everyone in the workplace. Unfortunately, many aspects of the typical workplace still seem to favor some groups over others. One discovery that has much of the business world talking is the huge gap in how men and women are evaluated in performance reviews. Understanding how to develop more equal performance reviews will be an important way to ensure that the next cadre of leaders is staffed by the most qualified individuals regardless of their sex.
It’s been noted that men and women receive different performance reviews, regardless of who is doing the reviewing. It’s not necessarily that the scores are different between men and women but rather that the ways that evaluations are crafted tend to lead to stark differences between how the genders are evaluated. Fixing this requires taking a deeper look at how the language in an evaluation impacts an employee’s future.
One important step that must be taken requires providing evaluations that use the same language to describe the actions of men and women. Men are often described with language that highlights their leadership and potential, while women are more often praised for their caring and for their stability. It’s no wonder, then, that the evaluations for men tend to more often put them on the leadership track.
Solving this problem also means creating systems of evaluation that are somewhat more objective. Solid metrics that can point towards an individual’s accomplishments are a must. It’s also important that the credit for accomplishments in business be doled out the same way for both men and women; while men are often given credit for their successes individually, women are more likely to be praised as a part of a larger team.
The only way to craft more equal performance reviews is to take a long look at why modern reviews tend to produce such lopsided results. The language used in these reviews needs to change, of course, but so too do the ways that evaluators look at the actions of both men and women. It will not be until these problems are solved that businesses can be sure that they are promoting the individuals who actually have the most potential to positions where they can thrive.