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Dr Margaret Byrne, upcoming Ascend speaker on how unconscious gender stereotypes can contaminate performance reviews, costing you talented female staff

For the past 6 years, UGM has been researching why so few women move from the middle to the top of Australian organisations. The senior women surveyed continually raised two key issues they needed – a bigger share of the talking time in meetings, and better recognition for good performance. This research once again proves that its not that women don’t do promotion worthy work, but that they don’t get an opportunity to have it noticed.

Dr Byrne has written an article published through the UGM newsletter that covers the following points:

Managers are gatekeepers: to opportunities for their female team members to shine. Managers need to understand their role as coordinating recognition and  rewards like coaching, promotion, mentoring and development, while employees should focus on building rapport, trust and understanding with their manager.

UGM had difficulty filming performance reviews because of the understandably touchy nature of the person being assessed. But Byrne makes the point that this secrecy can be a real issue in many organisations, where employees don’t know how their co-workers (and competition for that promotion) are being assessed.

Merit and gender assumptions are not as mutually exclusive as we hope: UGM found clear examples of bias creeping in. Byrne recommends rescrutinising your HR policies for gender bias. For example create talent, capability and leadership frameworks for both genders, not just men and make sure your associated behaviours for capabilities are not male associated behaviours, but ones that both genders share and express differently.

As well as including self assessment, and peer assessment, Byrne also promotes really clear performance guidelines, because the more ambiguous the guidelines, the greater the risk of inference and unconscious gender stereotypes.

As you can see, gender stereotypes are complicated and you normally need professional help to unravel their crippling presence in your organisation. To find out if gender stereotypes are a risk for your company, use this tool kit. And to register for November Ascend click here.

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1 month ago

Jen Dalitz

I haven’t been here in a while as the writing has been on hold. But I was reminded today that there are things in our life that light us up. That might take us out of our comfort zone but, once you sit with it, bring you both joy and a sense of “I can do this” achievement. These moments are such a gift. So I’m curious, what’s your special thing that lights you up?

Despite (or in spit of) my professional career, these moments for me normally involve my horses. I’ll never be an equestrian Olympian, but I take great pleasure in all the lessons my horses teach me. They remind me that it’s a team effort, we’re in it together, and that if I’m prepared to give a little bit more, they will too. That’s true whether we’re on the ground taking care of their feet, or grooming, or when I’m atop riding as one. Two hearts one team.
It’s hard to describe the adrenaline and joy they bring to my life. But I’d love to know, what lights you up??
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And so, maybe time does change some things. Or women do.

Skavlan Talkshow
– They let me go at 42 because they told me I was too old to represent women's dreams. #kvinnedagen

Watch our talk show interview with Isabella Rossellini here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRa7UptZ3qw
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This is what the future looks like, right here. Calling out the BS for what it is. Good luck to the young people of the United States of America in being forth this change.

Yes She Can
Our future is looking bright
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