HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Academic Dean
Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government
Co-Director, Women and Public Policy Program

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.

Citation

Bohnet, Iris, Alexandra van Geen, and Max Bazerman. "When Performance Trumps Gender Bias: Joint vs. Separate Evaluation." Management Science (September 29, 2015).