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Women at Work: Un-Cementing Self-Bias

If bias did not exist today, would gender disparities still exist?

Sheryl Sandberg’s new Lean IN Circles focuses on the biases that exist today and strategies for overcoming such biases such as likability bias, performance bias, maternal bias, attribution bias, affinity bias, and double discrimination bias, and intersectionality bias. There is one bias, specific to women at work that is ignored, the bias of self..

What is Self-Bias?

Self-bias are the stories that hold women back for getting to any “yes” that they desire. If women are balancing life and work find themselves spending more time talking themselves out of opportunity rather than figuring out “how” to create equity in pay and opportunity. It’s that infinite wheel that says, “I’m not good enough to ask for what I want.” It’s like walking in cement, while it’s wet! Every step seems to get harder and harder as the cement hardens, now we’re stuck! Eventually, women concede, this is the “good enough.” Women may at times put their goals on the back burner, mostly avoiding the issue at hand for fear of failure, or loss of control, choosing the “easier route.” When women take in account all of the biases that exist today, women fail to take into account they may never be able to get to a “yes” for a promotion, “yes” for increase in pay, or even a “yes” to the perfect job, unless women think differently and take action on their own behalf, and reduce self-bias.