The Influence of Gender in the Year-End Appraisal

In Fortune magazine this month, we read both interesting and shocking research about the influence of gender in the year-end appraisal. Comparing the frequency of positive and negative feedback in appraisals they found that 71% of women received negative feedback compared with only 2% of men.Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 18.34.19

It is an open secret that an appraisal is never neutral and any appraiser brings his/her subjective perspective and unconscious bias in the process but the significant gap in the distribution of this negative and positive feedback is still very surprising.

We often find that our female coachees have a high need for perfectionism and self-criticism so this kind of negative personality criticism and regular negative feedback pushes these tendencies even further. The study also found that the manager’s gender isn’t a factor. This shows the need and importance of supporting all senior leaders in becoming aware of their unconscious bias.