We Deserve Better Than “Attagirl”

We Deserve Better Than “Attagirl”

From the Women at Work podcast:

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Hearing your manager say you’re doing a great job is, of course, lovely. But without examples of your greatness in action, or suggestions for how to be even better, you don’t have the information you need to keep improving. Studies have found that women tend to get feedback that’s vague or tied to their personalities, which doesn’t boost our performance ratings. Meanwhile, men get feedback that’s specific and tied to business outcomes, which sets them up to develop and be promoted.

First, we talk with Harvard Business School professor Robin Ely about the research on women and feedback. Next, we talk with Tuck School of Business professor Ella Bell Smith about how to draw out actionable, useful feedback from our managers, and how to respond when we’re not getting what we need to succeed.

Guests:

Robin J. Ely is a professor at Harvard Business School and the faculty chair of the HBS Gender Initiative.

Ella L.J. Bell Smith is a professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Resources:

● “What Most People Get Wrong About Men and Women,” by Catherine H. Tinsley and Robin J. Ely
● “The Gender Gap in Feedback and Self-Perception,” by Margarita Mayo
● “How Gender Bias Corrupts Performance Reviews, and What to Do About It,” by Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio
● “Research: Vague Feedback Is Holding Women Back,” by Shelley Correll and Caroline Simard

Email us here: womenatwork@hbr.org

Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network.

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It would be awesome to hit "like" or "share" and start playing.