Study Finds Women Are Less Likely to Be Rewarded for Work-Place Innovations than Men

A new study from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has found that women are less likely than men to be rewarded for their innovations at work. The researchers found that managers, no matter their gender, struggle with a “think innovation-think male” bias when conducting performance reviews. They found that women employees received better performance ratings when their levels of innovative work behaviors were low, while women with high levels of innovative behavior received worse performance scores.

The researchers believe that organizations can overcome this bias by making their employees aware of it. Lead author Derek R. Avery stated, “Being aware is a start, but the workplace is an extension of society, which has long undervalued women as innovators.”

Additionally, the researchers believe that women employees can better position themselves to lead change in the workplace by bringing their most promising ideas to the table first. According to communication professor, Rebecca Gill, “an idea that isn’t fully fleshed out may validate the gender-bias that innovators tend to be youthful, male, White Silicon-Valley types.” She adds that “presenting a promising idea, even if small, builds confidence.”


Filed Under: Research/Study


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