We tend to think women are less competent than men, so we are less likely to give them credit for their accomplishments and more likely to blame them for mistakes. This is known as the attribution bias. The video explains how attribution bias arises in the workplace and impacts women.
(upbeat electronic music) - Two quick reminders before I get started. First, people of all genders fall into bias traps not just men. Second, knowing that unconscious bias exists isn't enough. We need to look for it and commit to take steps to counteract it. Attribution bias is closely linked to performance bias. Because we tend to think women are less competent, we are less likely to give them credit for their accomplishments and we are more likely to blame them for mistakes.
Even when women and men work on tasks together, women often get less credit for success and more blame for failure. We also fall into the trap of thinking women's contributions are less valuable than men's. One place this happens is when women are talking. Women are more likely to be talked over and interrupted in meetings. In one study, men interrupted women nearly three times as often as they interrupted other men. And women were also far more likely to interrupt other women, but they rarely interrupted men.
Perhaps not surprisingly because women are held to a higher standards, tend to receive less credit and wield less influence, their confidence often erodes. For example, when it comes to performance, women predict they'll do worse than they actually do. In contrast, men predict they'll do better than they actually do. Women are also less likely to think they are ready for a promotion than men. And men typically apply for jobs when they meet 60% of hiring criteria, while women wait until they meet 100%.
However, it may not just be lack of confidence holding women back. Because we hold women to higher standards than men, women may rightfully feel like they have to hit a higher bar. Now you know how attribution bias works. As a next step, you can use our bias cards to learn specific ways it shows up in the workplace and what to do about it.