Current Issues

Cognitive Bias in Organisational Decision-Making

Everyone is subject to cognitive bias and it is sensible for organisations to introduce training for their staff to mitigate its effects on individual and group decision-making as part of a proper and consistent approach to talent management. Gender Matter's approach to dealing with cognitive bias is to train staff to mitigate its effects and to embed mitigation processes into the organisation's HR policies, procedures and every-day practices.

More details on this can be found in our Publications, on unconscious bias training.

Typical gender issues raised by female participants in Gender Matters’ workshops are:

  • being too modest about their skills and experience in the company of male colleagues
  • how to handle career interruptions, e.g. to have children
  • how to manage men in their team who are older than them
  • how assertive should they be at work in the company of men
  • how to handle situations where less competent men are promoted ahead of them
  • what to do about unequal salaries between men and women for the same roles
  • how to develop their careers in male-dominated organisations
  • how to handle the "double burden" of managing a career and home life
  • whether to stay in a current role through loyalty to colleagues or accept a promotion
  • how to handle gender bias (both conscious and unconscious) in others
  • how to build wider and deeper networks of business contacts

These issues are discussed in our workshops and various approaches and actions are recommended to deal with them.

Gender Matters’ view on gender bias is that conscious bias needs to be addressed, and whilst some organisations are offering unconscious bias training to their staff, few (if any) are tackling the much more difficult subject of conscious bias.

Our workshop participants usually work in organisations where there are many more men than women at their own organisational level and far more men in management above them. We believe it's time for organisations to take the above issues more seriously to make gender equity a cornerstone of their corporate culture.