WorkLife Law Needs Your Help with National Bias Survey

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A nationwide Bias at Work Survey is being conducted by the Center for WorkLife Law to study anonymous experiences of gender, race, class, disability, and parental bias.

"Researchers are asking women and men in any kind of work setting to share their experiences anonymously — with specific interest in perspectives from retail, healthcare, creative, media, tech, and hospitality sectors. "

Bias at Work is putting out a call for participation in a national survey to gather real-world data on workplace bias from people all across the United States. Researchers are asking women and men in any kind of work setting to share their experiences anonymously — with specific interest in perspectives from retail, healthcare, creative, media, tech, and hospitality sectors. Participants also receive instant feedback on their survey to help quantify and manage any current workplace bias. The survey is live now at biasatwork.org.

Workplace bias is the day-to-day, often unconscious small behaviors inside workplaces that diminish an employee’s professional opportunities related to gender, race, class, disability, and parental status. The survey is being conducted by the Center for WorkLife Law, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.

“Our goal is to find out whether the kinds of bias that have been documented for 40 years in lab studies are happening in modern workplaces,” said Joan C. Williams, a distinguished professor of law at UC Hastings. “If they are, we need a national dataset documenting it — which is what Bias at Work will create. You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

This survey is an expansion of Williams’ 40 years of social science research on subtle bias and the development of tools to correct it — including What Works for Women at Work, Tools for Change in STEM, Gender Bias Bingo, the Double Jeopardy project, and Bias Interrupters. WorkLife Law recently conducted research on bias with the Society of Women Engineers in the U.S. and India, lawyers through the American Bar Association, and with Susan Fiske and Rachel Connor at Princeton University. Williams has authored 11 books and more than 90 academic articles on the topic and has been featured in publications from O, The Oprah Magazine to The Atlantic.

"Bias in the workplace extends beyond the infamous gender pay gap,” said Richard Lee, Professor of Psychology at University of Minnesota and co-creator of the Bias at Work survey. “We now see how racial and gender bias play out separately and together in all facets of work, impacting recruitment, retention, promotion, and productivity. Documenting the variety of real workplace experiences of bias with this survey will contribute to expanding the definition of bias as well as advancing workplace equity and inclusion for everyone."

An advisory board of academic and industry leaders — including Ernst & Young — collaborated on the development of the Bias at Work survey. Researchers will analyze the survey data to create a comprehensive report on the state of workplace bias. The hope is that concrete data can help advance the national conversation on bias and also lead to effective tools that help improve workplace climates for everyone.

The anonymous five-minute survey is open from June 5 to August 5, 2018, at biasatwork.org.

About the Center for WorkLife Law
WorkLife Law is a research and advocacy organization at the University of California Hastings College of the Law that seeks to advance gender and racial equity in the workplace and in higher education. WorkLife Law focuses on initiatives with the potential to produce concrete social, legal, and institutional change within a three- to five-year timeframe. Our current major initiatives include programs for advancing women leaders, eliminating barriers for pregnant and breastfeeding workers and students, preventing Family Responsibilities Discrimination, and helping companies to interrupt and correct bias in the workplace and create more stable schedules for their hourly workers.

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Marina Multhaup
WorkLife Law
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Jamie Dolkas
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