Women Hear More White Lies in Performance Evaluations Than Men | Cornell Chronicle

Talent Management
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Although many organizations continue to invest in programs that reduce different forms of bias, recent research suggests that, when it comes to performance feedback, women may not receive the same quality of feedback as men. Researchers from Cornell University discovered that underperforming women are given less truthful but kinder performance feedback than equally underperforming men. This more considerate feedback is often to preserve relationships and avoid hurting people’s feelings. While the intention behind this phenomenon may appear innocuous, it undermines the transparency that many organizations promote and desire within their culture, and reduces access to fair and accurate feedback. The study builds on existing research by Standford researchers, who compared written performance reviews of men and women. They found that men were given detailed and actionable feedback, whereas the feedback provided to women was vague and less helpful. Both studies reveal an opportunity for organizations to build capabilities in providing more clear, actionable, and objective performance feedback, regardless of a workers’ demographic classification.

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