Study shows: Black Employees Face Feedback Bias at Work

In my career, I have found that having a manager who gives honest, actionable feedback is critical to a subordinate’s ability to perform at their best.
According to new research from Texito, an augmented writing platform:
  • “Black & Hispanic employees overall are 2.4 times as likely to get feedback that is NOT actionable.”
  • Black women receive nearly “9 times as much feedback that’s not actionable compared to white men under 40.”
This surely impacts the promotability of Black employees and their massive underrepresentation in leadership roles. (Note: The number one reason I hear from Black professionals I speak to about why they are leaving a company is because they do not see a path to a leadership role within their current organization.)
If an employee isn’t given honest, actionable feedback, they don’t know what they need to do to improve their job performance. They are, therefore, unlikely to improve.
Is this fair? No. But if you are a Black employee, you don’t have the luxury of sitting around waiting for a level playing field. You need to create a level playing field for yourself.
Question: How do you create your own level playing field?
Answer: Don’t allow your manager to be a bad boss.
Here’s how:
  1. Schedule regular feedback sessions with your manager. Don’t wait until your annual review. Do this weekly or bi-weekly.
  2. In the feedback sessions, ask open-ended questions about your performance that require detailed answers and actionable feedback. One of my favorite questions to ask my managers was, “What should I start, stop or continue doing and why?”
  3. When you receive actionable feedback, thank your manager for his/her candor. It can be uncomfortable to provide honest feedback. Key point: If you push back about the honest, actionable feedback that you get, your manager is less likely to provide honest feedback in the future.
  4. Assuming the feedback you receive is valid, take action to improve your performance immediately.
  5. After a few weeks, follow up with your manager. Let he/she know what you’ve done to improve your performance based on the feedback they provided and … get more feedback on your actions since the previous session!
  6. You are likely to find that you will start to receive feedback from your manager outside of your formal feedback meetings once he/she understands that you are open to receiving this direct input to improve your performance.
Read the article from People of Color in Tech about the study below
By Abbianca Makoni

A new study has found racial and gender bias in the job performance feedback given to business employees. 

Texito an augmented writing platform, surveyed over 25,000 business employees and also analyzed actual performance feedback documents, and noted consistent patterns of inequity by gender, race, and age.

Latinx and Black employees were more likely to receive job performance feedback that was negatively biased and not actionable.

What did they find?

According to the findings, Asian people get more feedback than people of any other race—25% more than white people—and Black men get the least feedback of all.

Black and Latinx people receive 2.4 times more feedback that is not actionable compared to their white and Asian colleagues. 

Black and Latinx people are more likely to receive feedback that concerns their personality, rather than the quality of their work. Black and Latinx people are over twice as likely to report being described as passionate, which is often a euphemism for having a strong personality and being unable to get along with others.

Black women receive nearly 9 times as much feedback that’s not actionable compared to white men under 40.

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