The workplace inequality that has nothing to do with pay

We asked Londoners about the worst feedback they’d received – which prompted the question, do men and women get the same treatment?

Criticism is an inevitable part of working life – and most of us have worked under bosses with a knack for doling out harsh feedback, whether it’s fair or not.

BBC Capital took to the streets of London and asked people to describe the harshest feedback they’d received in their careers.

The varied answers from the men and women who participated in the video above made us wonder – is there a difference in the feedback men and women receive in the workplace? Recent research suggests there is.

Stanford University researchers recently found women received 2.5 times as much feedback than men about aggressive communication styles.

Shelley Correll and Caroline Simard also found feedback for women was more vague and less tied to business outcomes. This correlated with lower performance review ratings for women, but not for men.

A 2016 report by Lean In and McKinsey found women were 20% less likely than men to get difficult feedback – managers hesitant to give difficult feedback were more concerned about triggering an emotional response from women than men.

In addition, when negotiating salaries, women were 30% more likely than men to receive feedback that they were “intimidating,” “too aggressive,” or “bossy”.

Getting direct feedback is important – it helps us improve our working styles and career prospects. But when bias is potentially involved, it’s important to ensure we're getting a full and honest critique, that isn't affected by who's on the receiving end. Video by Bold Yellow Media.

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