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The Unconscious Bias Which Might be the Reason You Weren't Promoted

January 07, 2014 2 min read

study undertaken by the Conference Board of Canada, which researched women in the workplace and in high level positions, found that young women continue to face barriers in the workplace.  While there are more women in universities across Canada and the United States than men, millenial women aren't getting the same treatment.  "Women are being paid less overall than men, make up very small percentage of CEOs, and veer towards what has been called the "pink ghetto" careers such as nursing and administrative assistants." (Yahoo Finance) The study found that young women between the ages of 22-34 are less likely to be labeled as having high potential by a pitiful 45% (men at 53%) even though their performance is high with 74% being high performers compared to 66% of men.  It's been called the "unconscious bias" that young women aren't ready and can't handle the increasing level of responsibility right from the onset of their careers.  "The cumulative effect is that just six per cent of Millennial women are in middle management positions or higher today, compared to 12 per cent of men." So how is this to change?  Is it merely the older generation that wasn't faced with large numbers of young women in the workplace that is giving rise to this bias?  The Conference Board was only able to make a few recommendations which included more open and positive performance evaluations and recognizing that the bias may exist throughout the company. How many times have all of us heard that women just aren't "built" for leadership positions...?  As if that's something you need a special set of muscles and training for and that leadership doesn't also translate to the home and raising children.  Why are female CEOs seen as bossy and "butch" and selfish for allowing their career to take up so much of their family time?  When is a woman free to make her own decisions regarding her career path without having to go through the relentless double standards.  Why does society in general have such a hard time with men and women choosing alternative paths...like a man staying home with his children while his wife works?  Why do we have such a hard time with it?

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