Subtle Bias and Perceptions of Unfairness at Work
Crystal Hoyt - University of Richmond
There is clear evidence from social science research that people are motivated to restore justice when they believe that something is unfair. But, there are also powerful motivational inclinations to justify the existing social order and protect the status quo that can undermine our ability to perceive injustice. When biases are difficult to detect, inequities can be justified as an outcome of a fair and just system. Many biases that women face at work stem from such subtle and often imperceptible origins, often occurring outside of conscious awareness. Significant scholarship demonstrates that gendered expectations can promote barriers to legitimacy and equity for women at work. A greater understanding of the power of subtle bias can help us better perceive unfairness at work and can help galvanize social change.