Behaviors that Impact Department/Workplace Climate
Day to day interactions in the workforce can have a profound effect on workplace "climate" whether intentional or not. The first step is to be aware of what behaviors can have accumulative negative impacts (see Microaggressions, and Implicit Bias) and strategies that can be used to Empower Bystanders to step up and support co-workers who may be victims or targets of hurtful behaviors.
Microaggressions are the casual degradation of any marginalized group (Wikipedia). Whether intentional or not, the impacts are real, cumulative, and can lead to ..."diminished self confidence and contributes to a poor self-image and potentially lead to mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and trauma."
- Microaggressions Matter--article by Simba Runowa, Sept 18, 2015 Atlantic Magazine; --contributed by Allie Byrd Skaer and Carolyn Brinkworth.
- Racial Microaggressions in Every Day Life, Sue et al., 2007. (Contributed by Carolyn Brinkworth).
- Examples of Racial Microaggressions--(Contributed by Carolyn Brinkworth).
- Gender Shrapnel in the Academic Workplace--Ellen Mayock, 2016, Palgrave and McMillan Press. "This book employs the image of "shrapnel," bits of scattered metal that can hit purposeful targets or unwitting bystanders, to narrate the story of workplace power and gender discrimination." See the companion interview with the author from Inside Higher Education.
- Addressing Racist Microaggressions--Macy Wilson, posted January 6, 2017 on Inside Higher Education; "Many colleges and universities pride themselves on their commitment to diversity, yet that commitment often seems to be superficial."
- Micro-Agressions, Micro-Resistance, and Ally Development in the Academy--from the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, Drs. Cynthia Ganote, Floyd Cheung and Tasha Souza (video recording)
- Unmasking "racial microaggressions"--Tori DeAngelis, 2009, American Psychological Association, vol 40 #2, p. 42.
- Examples of Racial Microaggressions--from University of Minnesota
- Sue, D. W. (2010). Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-470-49140-9. OCLC 430842664
- Sue, Derald Wing, (2012) Microaggressions and Marginality. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2012
- 3 Approaches for Confronting Microaggressions--Tyrone Fleurizad, from Inside Higher Education, posted July 20, 2018.
Bias in Professional Relations
In The Discourse on the Method (1637), Rene Descartes describes his rational approach to understanding the physical universe free from preconceived ideas: "First, never accept anything as true that I did not know evidently to be so; that is, carefully to avoid precipitous judgement and prejudice; and to include nothing more in my judgments that what presented itself to my mind with such clarity and distinctness that I would have no occasion to doubt it." Cartesian skepticism, free from precipitous judgment and prejudice is equally as important in establishing professional relations in the workplace, lab, field, and professional gatherings. It is important to recognize many types of interpersonal bias that may enter the workplace, as these may ultimately have negative impacts on the progress of Science, and of the scientists themselves.
Strategies for reducing bias include:
- Being cognizant of the effects and impacts of potential bias
- Apply structure to reviews (e.g., job applications, performance reviews) so that the same criteria apply to all
- Question yourself--your motives, perceptions, personal frame of reference.
Cooperdock et al. (2021) provide practical advice on Counteracting Systemic Bias in the Lab, Field, and Classroom, with seven major suggestions summarized by Dunscombe in EOS (12 March 2021): Seven Ways PIs Can Counteract Systematic Bias Right Now:
- Normalize talking about diversity, equity, and inclusion in scientific settings.
- Write fair and balanced reference letters.
- Design your class field trips to be universally accessible.
- Write safety plans for the field.
- Partner with local communities
- Feature scientists from many backgrounds in the classroom.
- Most important of all: You're a leader. Just do something.
The "Confronting Prejudiced Responses (CPR) Model" recommends these steps in recognizing and responding to bias:
- understanding the context of the situation,
- assessing the the urgency of the problem,
- determining who is impacted,
- considering what can be done (and alternatives),
- considering what the consequences, are, and
- making a decision to act,
Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions that are activated involuntarily without an individual's awareness or intentional control (American Women in Science). Implicit bias refers to attitudes and stereotypes that affect perception and judgment without our being aware of it.
- Implicit Bias in STEM-- resources developed by American Women in Science
- Science faculty's subtle gender biases favor male students--Corinne A. Moss-Racusin, John F. Dovidio, Victoria L. Brescoll, Mark J. Graham, and Jo Handelsman; PNAS http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1211286109
- Does Gender Bias Influence Awards Given by Societies?--Mary Anne Holmes, Pranoti Asher, John Farrington, Rana Fine, Margaret Leinen, Phoebe LeBoy, EOS, Vol 92 #47, p. 421-422, 22 November 2011.
- Visit the Project Implicit, which was founded in 1998 by three scientists â€" Tony Greenwald(University of Washington), Mahzarin Banaji (Harvard University), and Brian Nosek (University of Virginia). On this site you will find 14 versions of the Implicit Association Test which "measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report...The IAT measures the strength of associations between concepts (e.g., black people, gay people) and evaluations (e.g., good, bad) or stereotypes (e.g., athletic, clumsy). " Follow this portal to take the IAT.
- Unconscious Bias Training--produced by Google Ventures (submission from Allie Byrd Skaer and Carolyn Brinkworth)
- Gender Bias in the Workplace--examples from UCAR, (submission from Allie Byrd Skaer and Carolyn Brinkworth
- Quality of evidence revealing subtle gender biases in science is in the eye of the beholder--Ian M. Handley, Elizabeth R. Brown, Corinne A. Moss-Racusi, and Jessi L. Smith, PNAS October 27, 2015 col 112, #43, 13201-13206, http://www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1510649112/-/DCSupplemental
- Race and Gender Bias in Online Courses--Scott Jaschik, from Inside Higher Education, posted March 8, 2018. "Study finds instructors are much more likely to respond to comments from white male students than from others."
- Examples of work environments hostile to women are reported in Women engineers describe unfriendly work environments in study--reported by Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, October 27, 2016, Chicago Tribune
- Gender differences in recommendation letters for postdoctoral fellowships in geoscience--Kuheli Dutt, Danielle, L. Pfaff, Ariel F. Bernstein, Joseph S. Dillard and Caryn J. Block, http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v9/n11/full/ngeo2819.html
- Presumed Incompetent: Race, Gender and Class in Academia--from the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity; Slides, Audio and Transcripts of presentation by Dr. Carmen Gonzalez, Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law.
- Science Faculty's subtle gender biases favor male students--Corinne Moss-Racusin, John Dovidio Victoria Brescoll, Mark Graham and Jo Handelsman, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol 109 #41, 16474-16479 and related interview Why Does John Get the STEM Job Rather Than Jennifer? (Clayman Institute for Gender Studies, Stanford University).
- Banaji, M. R., M. H. Bazerman, and D. Chugh (2003), How (un) ethical are you? Harvard Business Review, 81(12), 56-65.
- Barres, B. A. (2006), Does gender matter? Nature, 442(7099), pp. 133-136. DOI:10.1038/442133a
- Bertrand, M., and S. Mullainathan (2003), Are Emily and Greg more employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination (No. w9873). National Bureau of Economic Research.
- Greenwald, A. G., and L.H. Krieger (2006), [link http://www.jstor.org/stable/20439056 'Implicit bias: Scientific foundations']. California Law Review, 94(4), 945-967.
- Holmes, M. A., P. Asher, J. Farrington, R. Fine, M. S. Leinen, and P. LeBoy (2011), Does gender bias influence awards given by societies?. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 92(47), 421. DOI: 10.1029/2011EO470002.
- Moss-Racusin, C. A., J.F. Dovidio, V. L. Brescoll, M.J. Graham, and J. Handelsman (2012), Science faculty's subtle gender biases favor male students. Proc. Natl Acad Sciences, DOI 10.1073/pnas.1211286109
- Gender Bias in the Workplace--a useful list of examples from UCAR.
- Women Engineers Describe Unfriendly Work Environments in Study--Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Chicago Tribune, posted October 27, 2016. Many day to day examples of implicit bias.
- How stereotypes impair women's careers in science--Ernesto Reuben, Paola Sapienza and Luigi Zingales, PNAS 2014 March, 111 (12) 4403-4408. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1314788111
- Rudman, L. A., R. D. Ashmore, and M.L. Gary (2001), "Unlearning" automatic biases: the malleability of implicit prejudice and stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(5), 856-868. DOI: http://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1246">10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.1996.
- Steinpreis, R. E., K. A. Anders and D. Ritzke (1999), The impact of gender on the review of the curricula vitae of job applicants and tenure candidates: A national empirical study. Sex roles, 41(7), 509-528. DOI: 10.1023/A:1018839203698.
- Harvard's Project Implicit: people should begin here and take the test for free. You can also learn about the extensive research done.
- Association for Women in Science's RAISE Project to increase the number of women who receive awards from professional societies.
- Bias and the Application Process--Jeffrey W. Lockhart, April 29, 2016 from Inside Higher Education; Advice on how to avoid bias in reviewing applications, "The application review process can significantly disadvantage applicants from underrepresented groups."
- Gender Bias Bingo: a way to introduce faculty and staff to the impact of implicit bias
- University of Michigan's STRIDE Committee
- University of Washington's ADVANCE program videos on implicit bias in search committee deliberations
- University of Wisconsin's WISELI Program (evaluation rubrics)
- References on Implicit Bias (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 125kB Feb16 18)--compiled by Mary Anne Holmes.
- MacNell, Driscoll, & Hunt (2015) What's in a Name: Exposing Gender Bias in Student Ratings of Teaching
- Chambers (1983) Stereotypic images of the scientist: The draw-a-scientist test
- Moss-Racusin et al. (2012), Science faculty's subtle gender biases favor male students'.
- Are Emily and Greg more employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination--Bertrand and Mullainathan (2004)
- Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians--Goldin and Rouse (2000)
- Getting a Job: Is There a Motherhood Penalty?--Correll, Benard, and Paik (1997)
- Schmader et al. (2007) A Linguistic Comparison of Letters of Recommendation for Male and Female Chemistry and Biochemistry Job Applicants
- Check out this online APP: Gendered Language in Teacher Reviews--"This interactive chart lets you explore the words used to describe male and female teachers in about 14 million reviews from RateMyProfessor.com." Clearly shows gender bias in language used in student reviews of faculty, across many disciplines in higher education.
- Same Course, Different Ratings--Colleen Flaherty, from Inside Higher Education, posted March 14, 2018; "Study says students rate male instructors more highly than women even when they're teaching identical courses." See the original study Gender Bias in Student Evaluations, Mitchell, K., & Martin, J. (2018). Gender Bias in Student Evaluations. PS: Political Science & Politics, 1-5. doi:10.1017/S104909651800001X .
The "Halo Effect" is a cognitive bias where the overall impressions of an individual affect how we perceive other attributes of their character. For example, someone who appears to be physically attractive might also be considered to be a good leader, smart, funny, well-liked, etc.
- What is the Halo Effect by Kendra Cherry (April 7, 2017) describes the Halo Effect and why it matters in your professional life.
- See also the definition of the Halo Effect from Psychology.
"Psychological anchoring is a term used to describe the human tendency to rely too heavily on one trait (and often the first piece of information) when making decisions" (The Affects of Anchoring Bias on Human Behavior, Thought Hub May 23, 2016). Further examples of anchoring bias, and how to avoid this are found in Anchoring Effect: How the Mind is Biased by First Impressions from Psyblog. Experts tend to be less susceptible to anchoring bias, based on their more complete understanding of a topic or issue. Beware of first impressions!
- Anchoring Effect: How the Mind is Biased by First Impressions--from PsyBlog, definition, examples and ways to avoid anchoring bias.
Confirmational bias is realized as people make decisions that confirm beliefs that are already developed. Thoughts and actions are commonly influenced by ingrained stereotypes. Aspects of confirmation bias include biased (or selective) searches for information, biased interpretation, and biased memories. A good introduction to confirmation bias can be found at What is Confirmation Bias, by Shahram Heshmat, Psychology Today posted on April 23, 2015.
- The Confirmation Bias: Why It's Hard to Change your Mind--from PSYBLOG . "People search for information that confirms their view of the world and ignore what doesn't fit."
- Written in Black and White Exploring Confirmation Bias in Racialized Perceptions of Writing Skills--Dr. Arin N. Reeves, Yellow Paper Series, Nextions. "RESEARCH QUESTION: Given our finding in a previous study that supervising lawyers are more likely than not to perceive African American lawyers as having subpar writing skills in comparison to their Caucasian counterparts, we asked if confirmation bias unconsciously causes supervising lawyers to more negatively evaluate legal writing by an African American lawyer". See also commentary in ABA Journal: Partners in study gave legal memo a lower rating when told author wasn't white by Debra Cassens Weiss, posted April 21, 2014.
Imposter syndrome "...is a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud" " (Wikipedia).
- Feeling Like Imposters--Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, April 6, 2017, from Inside Higher Education; "New study from the University of Texas at Austin suggests that the impostor phenomenon can affect various groups of minority students in different ways."
- How a Dean Got Over Imposter Syndrome--and Thinks You Can, Too--Inside Higher Education, by Nell Gluckman, November 26, 2017.
- Faking It: Women, Academia, and Imposter Syndrome--Kate Bahn, from ChronicleVitae
Addressing Bias Issues
- Proven Strategies for Addressing Unconscious Bias in the Workplace--from CDO Insights (August 2008, Volume 2 Issue 5)