We’re not calling you biased, but today’s leading researchers are. As Sheryl Sandberg aptly summarizes,
“Most people would agree that gender bias exists… in others. We, however, would never be swayed by such superficial and unenlightened opinions. Except we are. Our preconceived notions about masculinity and femininity influence how we interact with and evaluate colleagues in the workplace. … gender bias influences how we view performance and typically raises our assessment of men while lowering our assessment of women."
In a cross-disciplinary study out of Yale, science faculty compared applicants for a lab manager position. The applicants were identical except for being named John or Jennifer. Even across male and female reviewers, John consistently received higher rating and a higher offer for starting salary than did Jennifer. Consider the similar study in which African-American sounding names got 50% fewer callbacks than white-sounding names for interviews.