Test Your Implicit Bias
Are you biased against women leaders? Take this test to learn the surprising truth.
Most people have unconscious biases that have been shaped by the world around us. Uncovering the biases is an important step to eliminating them. This interactive quiz* — created by AAUW, Project Implicit and Harvard University — will help you identify your implicit biases about women in leadership roles.
*Desktop or laptop computer required. Not compatible on mobile or tablet devices.
Studies using the Implicit Association Test (IAT) have shown that most people more easily associate men with science and women with the arts, men with careers and women with homemaking, and men with being leaders and women with being supporters.
For example, academic scientists who looked at identical résumés belonging either to “John” or “Jennifer” perceived Jennifer as less competent. They were less likely to offer to mentor Jennifer and were more likely to say they would hire John to be a lab manager. When asked what starting salary they’d offer the two candidates based on the same résumé, they proposed a salary that was $4,000 (13%) higher for John than for Jennifer. And female scientists showed the same type of bias against Jennifer that male scientists did.
Fortunately, studies suggest that it may be possible to reduce bias in our minds and in our workplaces. One study found that systematic consideration of personal judgments can help combat bias in the evaluation of women in leadership positions. Another of university professors indicated that a program of anti-bias education improved the environment in their departments. Knowing about the unconscious associations and connections we hold is the first step toward correcting our biases.
So how do we uncover them? AAUW has collaborated with Project Implicit and Harvard University researchers to create a test that looks at the mental associations we make between gender and a variety of concepts, many of which affect our beliefs about women in positions of leadership.