Jun 17, 2022 - Economy & Business
Asian and white men more likely to be described as "genius" in performance reviews
The tenor of your performance review might depend on your race and gender.
Driving the news: Men tend to get reviews that focus on the substance of their work; while women are 22% more likely to get feedback on their personality, according to a new analysis of performance reviews from 253 companies.
- White and Asian men are far more likely to be described as "brilliant" or "genius" than any other group.
Why it matters: On an individual level, quality feedback about someone's actual work helps them advance in their careers. Bigger picture: the differences in the way people are reviewed reveal biases about gender and race.
- "Individual bias runs deep," says Kieran Snyder, the CEO of Textio, a software firm that did the analysis.
- And it has an impact. "The people who receive the lowest-quality, least actionable feedback are also typically the groups of people who get paid the least."
More details: Women are more likely to be called "overachievers."
- Translation: "Brilliant geniuses are expected to perform well; overachievers perform well despite having inherent limitations," Kieran Snyder explains in a column in Fortune. "Some groups are credited with more baseline talent than others."
- None of these descriptors actually serve employees since they describe personality traits, not the kind of feedback that would help you grow at work.
The bottom line: The best performance reviews contain actionable feedback, Snyder tells Axios.
- Instead of describing someone's personality or intelligence — by calling them a genius, or nice, or even collaborative — cite specific instances of their work.