Assess Your Own Ability to Navigate Gender Bias

The following questions are designed to provide you with an assessment of your own effectiveness in avoiding or overcoming gender bias. Each of the questions presents a potentially difficult situation involving possible gender bias that a woman may encounter. (Men: please answer as if you were a woman.) Three courses of action are suggested after each situation in presented. These are not the only ways you could respond, but they do represent the most common ways in which women respond to similar situations. Select the course of action closest to the way in which you would behave.

Once you submit your responses, you will receive an evaluation of your effectiveness in dealing with gender bias together with tips for advancing in your career despite the gender bias in your workplace.

1) You find it difficult to develop an effective sales relationship with a customer. You suspect it is because he is not comfortable dealing with an executive-level woman.
2) Prior to the start of meetings and conference calls, the men you work with often engage in locker room banter and put-down humor from which you are excluded.
3) You are trying to make an important point in a meeting or on a conference call, and a man keeps interrupting you.
4) Your boss compliments you on your helpful attitude but he never assigns you -- in contrast to your male colleagues -- to the truly challenging projects that require late-night work or out-of-town travel.
5) You have been unsuccessful in getting any of the executive-level women in your organization to mentor, counsel, or actively support you.
6) You’ve worked in a single division since you joined your company. A career-advancing position opens up in another division for which you know there will be a great deal of competition and that will require a lot of work on your part before you are able to present yourself as a credible candidate.
7) You learn that three of the seven men who report to you earn more money than you do.
8) As the leader of a project team, you are being criticized as being aggressive, arrogant, and bossy.
9) You work for weeks on developing a solution to a customer’s supply and warehousing problem, but when the team is selected to meet with the customer, you are not included.
10) You are a candidate for promotion, but you are aware that when you present your accomplishments and the reasons you should be promoted, the decision-makers are clearly uncomfortable.