A simple Google search on “gender-balanced leadership is good for business” instantly pops up with nearly 18 million results. However, bias is a real concern in performance reviews and it is a driving factor for not having many women employees to advance them in their career.
In this first episode of She Matters season-II podcast, Yasmin Taj, Managing Editor of People Matters gets into a conversation with Maria Rajesh, CHRO, Embassy Group, who shares some of the action-oriented steps that employers can take to create reward, succession, and promotion bias-free and offer equitable advancement opportunities to each and every employee.
Maria acknowledges that over the years there has been a substantial increase in teh number of women leaders. And she feels what has really worked is the acceptance of organizations that they need more women on the table.
When asked about how biases are acting as a barrier to getting more women into leadership. Maria shares, “When selecting a candidate for advancement and development, perspective bias at times poses leaders to make errors. This in turn impacts teh promotion decisions based on subjective evaluations. Thus, unconsciously rejecting factual data. Similarly, leaders at times conform to pre-conceived notions or overestimate the talent of familiar people. Others believe that the past performance drives future successes. Whether we accept it or not, biases may be varying the organization's succession decisions.
However, optimizing organizational succession planning by understanding key influencers about biases and adopting data-driven approach will help mitigate biases.”
As the conversation moves towards finding the solution to the challenge– eliminating bias from reward, succession, and promotion, Maria shares, Data-driven decisions achieving better performance outcomes. This is the mantra. Leaders using objective analysis and prioritizing accountability are a good place to start and make a succession plan successful. Also, empowerment is a key factor to be considered. Liberty in decision-making for women in the workplace also provides confidence in empowerment.
Thanks, Maria for sharing such invaluable insights with us. Listen to the entire podcast here where Maria reflects on pay parity, and creating equitable opportunities for all.