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What To Do When You Have A Gender Biased Unfair Performance Review At Work



Most businesses offer an annual review for all employees. It’s a good opportunity to thank employees for the effort they have put in, highlight their strengths, and look at weaknesses, specifically how these areas can be improved. The aim should be to leave the employee feeling positive and valued, helping them to focus on how they can improve their work for the company and themselves.

Sadly, this isn’t always what happens. Employers have biases and these will often come out in a performance review. The problem with a bias is that the employer may not realize they have it but it will affect the way they evaluate different people. That’s the issue with subjectivity.

Identifying The Bias

One of the hardest things to do is to identify the bias. You may feel that the employer is being unfair to you based on the fact you’re a woman, (the most common type of gender bias). But, it can be hard to be certain and you will want to avoid appearing over-sensitive.

In fact, if you feel the review was biased, it probably was. You’ll need to speak to colleagues and ask about what was in their reviews. This will help you to identify whether your review was biased or not.

For example, a male colleague is known for struggling to make decisions under pressure. If their reviews say they struggle but find a way to decide using multiple options, while your review says you freeze, and you’re both doing the same thing, then there is clearly a case of gender bias.

Calling It Out

The best thing you can do when faced with gender bias is called it. That means arranging a separate meeting with your supervisor and telling them that you feel they are gendering biased. You’ll need to quote the example you know to be fact, as well as any other incident you have previously noted.

In some cases, the employer simply doesn’t realize they are gendering biased. They will instantly take steps to address the gender bias. Of course, they’ll need to be careful not to go too far the other way and be gender biased in your favor. Other employers won’t be interested in changing the way they see people or treat them.


If you enjoy your job then you’re not going to be in a rush to quit. However, if you work in a toxic culture where you’re not treated as an equal because of your sex, quitting may be the only option. It’s worth speaking to an unfair dismissal employment lawyer first. They will be able to advise whether you are being forced out of your job or not. If you feel quitting is the only possible action then you are likely to have an unfair dismissal claim.

Your employment lawyer can guide you through the steps of making a claim and receiving compensation. This will help you to keep going while you locate a new opportunity, hopefully, one that is free of gender bias.

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