Get Rid of Performance Appraisals – Gender, Race and Age Bias Problem

Hi guys, this blog post is part of a four blog post series that talk about the problem of Performance Appraisals as a Rating Device. All the series can be found here. In this blog post, I will discuss how Gender, Race and Age Bias can affect Performance Appraisals.

There are several studies about appraisals related to bias based on gender, race and age. This research shows that we have stereotypical beliefs about categories of people. I discussed this more in this post. Of course, these beliefs make our objectivity blurry, they distort what we see. For example, jobs where nurturing is important, women perform better than men. Therefore, independently of our gender, we will always rate women higher than men. You can read more about how stereotyping works if you follow Madeline Heilman here.

Another study from Cheryl Beauvais and Janet T. Spence “Gender, Prejudice, and Categorization Sex Roles” (Vol. 16, No. 1, p. 98) shows that liberal women tend to show more prejudice in favor of males than over traditional woman. In South West of Germany where I have lived for some time, it was quite known that pregnant women have difficult times to get a job, they are highly discriminated. This is demonstrated in the study of Jane A. Halpert, Wilson Midge L. and Julia L. Hickman “Journal of Organizational Behavior” (Vol. 14, pp. 649–63.1993.).

Related to Race bias problems, Kurt Kraiger and Kevin J. Ford published a study in 1985 “A Meta-Analysis of Ratee Race Effects in Performance Ratings” (Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 70, No. 1, p. 60). This study demonstrates that members of a race gave higher rates to members belonging to equal race.

In order to justify the 3rd point, the Age Bias problems, I want to present an article from Taylor Jr. Cox and Stella M. Nkomo “Candidate Age as a Factor in Promotability Ratings ” (Public Personnel Management, Vol. 21, No. 2) where they present evidence that age bias in appraisals also depends on the situation, but typically older people are perceived as less capable and have less potential to develop.

Of course, with or without appraisal, bias and stereotyping are difficult to eradicate but this blog shows clearly that performance appraisals will have a defective outcome just looking to this small particular problem.

This blog post is part of my new book that I am writing: Get Rid of Performance Reviews, if you are interested on the topic please subscribe as a Beta Reader and receive the 1st part for free right HERE.

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