Iris Bohnet Photo

Iris Bohnet

Appointment
Roy E. Larsen Professor of Public Policy
Director, The Women in Public Policy Program
Office Address
79 John F. Kennedy St. Taubman Bldg 110A
617-495-5605
Bohnet, Iris, Alexandra van Geen, and Max Bazerman. "When Performance Trumps Gender Bias: Joint vs. Separate Evaluation." Management Science (September 29, 2015).

Abstract

Gender bias in the evaluation of job candidates has been demonstrated in business, government, and academia, yet little is known about how to overcome it. Blind evaluation procedures have been proven to significantly increase the likelihood that women musicians are chosen for orchestras, and they are employed by a few companies. We examine a new intervention to overcome gender bias in hiring, promotion, and job assignments: an “evaluation nudge” in which people are evaluated jointly rather than separately regarding their future performance. Evaluators are more likely to base their decisions on individual performance in joint than in separate evaluation and on group stereotypes in separate than in joint evaluation, making joint evaluation the profit-maximizing evaluation procedure. Our work is inspired by findings in behavioral decision research suggesting that people make more reasoned choices when examining options jointly rather than separately and is compatible with a behavioral model of information processing.