Equitable Practice

Equitable Practice

A curated Bibliography of current and relevant articles, blogposts, and published materials of other groups' Guides, Toolkits, and resources for equitable workplace Best Practices.

“Blind” auditions for symphony orchestras reduced sex-biased hiring and improved female musicians’ likelihood of advancing out of preliminary rounds, which often leads to tenured employment.

  • Using a screen to conceal candidates from the jury during preliminary auditions increased the likelihood that a female musician would advance to the next round by 11 percentage points. During the final round, “blind” auditions increased the likelihood of female musicians being selected by 30%.
  • According to analysis using roster data, the transition to blind auditions from 1970 to the 1990s can explain 30 percent of the increase in the proportion female among new hires and possibly 25 percent of the increase in the percentage female in the orchestras.
  • In short, “blind” auditions significantly reduced gender-biased hiring and the gender gap in symphony orchestra compositions.


Why Some Teams are Smarter Than Others

by Olimpia Zagnoli, NYTimes, (Jan. 15, 2015)

Gray Matters - Courtesy of NYTimes

Gray Matters - Courtesy of NYTimes

ENDLESS meetings that do little but waste everyone’s time. Dysfunctional committees that take two steps back for every one forward. Project teams that engage in wishful groupthinking rather than honest analysis. Everyone who is part of an organization — a company, a nonprofit, a condo board — has experienced these and other pathologies that can occur when human beings try to work together in groups.

But does teamwork have to be a lost cause? Psychologists have been working on the problem for a long time. And for good reason: Nowadays, though we may still idolize the charismatic leader or creative genius, almost every decision of consequence is made by a group. When Facebook’s board of directors establishes a privacy policy, when the C.I.A.’s operatives strike a suspected terrorist hide-out or when a jury decides whether to convict a defendant, what matters is not just the intelligence and wisdom of the individual actors involved. Groups of smart people can make horrible decisions — or great ones.

Psychologists have known for a century that individuals vary in their cognitive ability. But are some groups, like some people, reliably smarter than others?


Who Gets the Raise?

by Anna North, The Opinion Page: NYTimes, (Jan. 26, 2015)

Is it time to ask for a raise? Neil Irwin at The Upshot writes that this could (finally) be a good year for wages, with small businesses, and a big health insurer, planning to increase pay. And The Billfold titled a recent post “The Year America Gets a Raise” (though its author, Mike Dang, also cautioned that “we can only watch and wait” to see if wages really rise).

But even a large-scale increase in wages might not benefit everyone equally — asking for a raise, some say, works better for some employees than for others.


Google's Approach to Work/Life "Balance" and Much More

by Lazlo Bock for Harvard Business Review

Are you a Segmentor or Integrator? Google's approach is to survey and test employee's gDNA in order to provide the best solutions for their approach to work and life distinctions.

Our first rounds of gDNA have revealed that only 31% of people are able to break free of this burden of blurring. We call them “Segmentors.” They draw a psychological line between work stress and the rest of their lives, and without a care for looming deadlines and floods of emails can fall gently asleep each night. Segmentors reported preferences like “I don’t like to have to think about work while I am at home.”

For “Integrators”, by contrast, work looms constantly in the background.  They not only find themselves checking email all evening, but pressing refresh on gmail again and again to see if new work has come in. (To be precise, people fall on a continuum across these dimensions, so I’m simplifying a bit.)

Of these Integrators (69% of people), more than half want to get better at segmenting. This group expressed preferences like “It is often difficult to tell where my work life ends and my non-work life begins.”

Women, Work, and the Art of Gender Judo

by Joan C. Williams for the Washington Post

Courtesy of Washington Post- Original Article

Courtesy of Washington Post- Original Article

Why practice gender judo if women are supposed to lean in and just ask for what they want? My interviews with 127 highly successful women show that more straightforward strategies can backfire. While plenty of glass ceilings have been shattered, most good jobs — from senator to scientist, comic to chief executive — are still seen as requiring what have traditionally been perceived as masculine qualities. Lawyers are aggressive; chief executives are decisive; techies are nerds; comics are obsessed with sex. So women have to behave in “masculine” ways to be seen as competent.

One problem: Women are still expected to be feminine.

The solution that Williams suggests that leveraging a blend of "stereotypically" masculine and feminine leadership traits has the most promising outcomes. If you take a gender blind approach, a few key strategies seam to be effected for both women and men. 1) Good Cop/Bad Cop: being warm/nurturing 95% of the time and reserving stern authority for that 5%, when you need it. 2) The Posse: Negotiating or lobbying for the team's mutual interests, rather than your own will emphasize your leadership strengths and seams to be easier than doing so for yourself.  Similarly, assembling a posse of like-minded colleagues (both men and women) that will reciprocally promote each another at the right opportunity is much more successful than self-promotion, especially by women. Another revelation that Williams suggests is that elimination of natural gender bias by providing multiple ways to assess achievement for men and women.

Eliminating bias would require redesigning hiring, assignments, evaluations, promotions and compensation to interrupt subtle bias.



Beyond the Pritzker: Women, Architecture and the politics of Family Leave

Graphic via  Thinkprogress  comparing paid Maternity leave. 

Graphic via Thinkprogress comparing paid Maternity leave. 

by Nancy Levison, Places (7/30/13)

This piece reflects on her attendance of recent Women's leadership conferences and suggests how advocacy for paid Family Leave may help in starting to change the current inequalities that we struggle with. The shocking statistic is that Out of 178 nations, the U.S. is one of three that does not offer paid maternity leave benefits, let alone paid leave for fathers, which more than 50 of these nations offer.



Redefining Success: What’s Flex Got To Do With It

by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, via Linked In (7/24/13)

A slew of recent studies, including the recent LifeTwist study commissioned by American Express, find that rather than traditional measures of material wealth, intangibles, such as a good marriage, having a good balance between work and personal life, and being able to take a day off when desired, have soared in importance.  The fact is, flex time can boost a business’s bottom line. CTI research finds that companies that actively endorse flex work are talent magnets for the best and brightest who ultimately boost the bottom line.

When Gender Gets in the Way of Sponsorship

by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, via Linked In (10/18/13)

Sponsorship is a necessarily close relationship. Getting to know each other well enough to establish trust demands regular one-on-one encounters, possibly over the phone but more typically in person, sometimes at work but often outside of it. But how close is too close? 





The following is a compilation of free resources from consultant agencies who publish white papers on the topic of women in Architecture. 

Challenge: Developing, Retaining, and Promoting Talented Women

By: Laura Santana and Katherine Pappa


Sheryl Sandberg on the Myth of the Catty Woman

This is an extreme example of something that happens every day: women helping one another, professionally and personally. Yet the popular idea is that women are not supportive of other women. At school, we call them “mean girls” and later, we call them “catty” or “queen bees.” (What’s the derogatory male equivalent? It doesn’t exist.)