Why are women not active in Japan? The level of women's success in Japan is exceptionally low even in international comparison. Japan's ranking in the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Index (2017) is only 114th out of 144 countries.
In Japan today, it is essential to increase the productivity of workers and increase the number of workers. Such effects are expected to promote the active participation of women, and various laws and systems have been put in place. Of course, there may be multiple reasons why women are not active. For example, men are generally more overconfident than women and tend to prefer competition and risk-taking. Therefore, even if the ability level is the same, it is considered that men are more likely to be promoted. On the other hand, it is also true that there is an unconscious bias on the evaluation side in hiring and promotion. Even if they do not intend to discriminate between men and women, they may be depriving women of opportunities to play an active role.
This book teaches you how to deal with this thinking bias. To deal with bias, it is necessary to recognize one's own bias, change one's way of thinking and behavior, and establish it. However, these efforts are difficult.
That's when the "behavioral design" introduced in this book comes into play. Even if personal values do not change, you can change your behavior by changing the environment. It not only eliminates persistent gender disparities, but also leads to the realization of a fairer society. This is a book full of such ideas. A must-read book for those who promote gender equality is here now.
The main points of this book
"System 1", which is an intuitive thinking mode, tends to guide judgments that encourage the original beliefs. As a result, people are more likely to fall into biases such as "representative heuristics."
Behavioral design is a method of automatically encouraging people to take favorable actions. Even if the values and ways of thinking do not change, it is possible to change behavior by changing the environment.
In order to eliminate gender and race bias in personnel evaluation, it is effective to compare and evaluate multiple candidates. The comparison allows us to focus on individual performance rather than unconscious bias.
The power of behavioral design
Violin behind the curtain
In the late 1970s, only 5% of the five major American orchestras were female performers. But now, in top-notch orchestras, women make up more than 35% of the performers. It was the introduction of "blind auditions" that brought about these changes.
This is a method of separating the judge and the performer with a curtain or the like in the recruitment test of the performer so that the judge cannot see who is playing. As a result of the successive adoption of this technique by leading orchestras, the proportion of female musicians employed has increased dramatically.
Originally, it is only the playing ability that decides whether or not to accept a performer. Race, ethnicity, gender, etc. should not matter. But the reality was different. For example, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra had no female musicians until 1997. In the first place, the judges who decided to hire performers did not feel any discomfort that the orchestra consisted only of white men. Not to mention that they were not aware that they had a bias.
All that was needed to change the situation was awareness of the problem, a curtain, and a design decision for the selection process. Thus, the population of recruitment candidates has doubled from male-only to both male and female. The ability to select members from a wide population has improved the quality of the members and their performances, and has had a positive impact on the orchestra's business.
Behavioral Economics Approach
Professional musicians are often shocked to learn that they are strongly influenced by visual factors when assessing their performance. The judges of the music contest say that even if they think that the evaluation is centered on the musical element at the consciousness level, it actually depends greatly on the visual element. The behavioral design of the judging process, in which the performer was in the jury's field of view, had an unexpected effect on the judging results.
Bias is rooted not only in our consciousness, but also in our institutions and customs. Good design produces good results, and bad design produces bad results. Behavioral design is referred to as "selective architecture" in Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein's classic Behavioral Behavioral Economics. It can be expected to be more effective than legal regulations and incentive systems in changing people's behavior.
Of course, legislation and incentives are important, but they don't always work. Behavioral design does not rely on people reacting to incentives, but encourages people to automatically take the desired behavior. We sometimes need to be lightly pushed back so that we can take positive action for ourselves, our organization and the world.
System 1 and system 2
Most Americans have the stereotype that most Florida residents are elderly. This is because warm Florida has a strong image as a destination for old age. But in reality, 82% of Florida's population is under the age of 65, which is about the same as the national average of 86%.
The association of people who live in old age, called Florida, is based on the attributes of the inhabitants that are perceived as representative (“Florida is the elderly”). This is one of the thinking biases of "representative heuristics".
The reason for making ideas and judgments based on such bias is that thinking is dominated by system 1. According to Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman's book Fast & Slow, human thinking has two modes of thinking: system 1 and system 2.
System 1 is an intuitive mode that requires less effort and concentration and operates automatically. It's a thinking mode suitable for quickly evaluating information. On the other hand, system 2 is a mode in which consideration is made based on conscious reasoning, and it takes more time to reach a conclusion than system 1. Therefore, it is suitable for abstract analysis and norm-based thinking.
System 1 tends to make decisions based solely on the information in front of it. Too much to maintain a consistent world perception, he tries to affirm his original beliefs. Therefore, it becomes difficult to update the information and accept new information.[Must read point!] It is not easy to remove the bias
What is overlooked in diversity training
There are many types of bias, but it is difficult to avoid being biased. According to Baruch Fishhoff, a pioneer in bias research, successful bias removal requires at least four steps: They are "recognition of the possibility of being affected by bias", "understanding of the direction in which bias works", "quick indication in case of bias", "frequent feedback and training with analysis and coaching". ..
Of course, it's not easy to put these into practice. Many American companies today offer diversity training. However, in reality, the step of removing the bias is not taken into consideration, and many of them waste their budget. Unfortunately, just making employees aware of their biases does not change their way of thinking or behavior. In fact, other studies have found little evidence to support the effectiveness of these trainings. It turns out that there is no direct link between diversity training and workplace diversity.
Attention and effort are required for the system 2 that bears the above-mentioned deliberations to function. People are exhausted in their cognitive abilities in busy workplaces. Therefore, the thoughtless and intuitive system 1 predominates over the system 2. It can be said that it is difficult to build a workplace that exercises self-control and accepts diverse people.
Diversity training can also produce an "indulgence effect (moral licensing)".
This is a phenomenon in which people tend to behave badly after taking good behavior. For example, after doing something good for your health, such as taking vitamins, you might think that you can eat something that is not good for your health.
According to one experiment, those who expressed their support for Barack Obama during the 2008 US presidential election were more likely to discriminate against African Americans. Such effects were more pronounced in those who originally had racial prejudice.
The conclusion drawn from this is that diversity training can be counterproductive. If a discriminatory manager undergoes diversity training, he feels that he has received an "indulgence." And during the interview, you may be willing to take a discriminatory attitude towards the candidate.
In addition, it is possible that receiving training will make it easier to focus on differences between genders and races. Measures that obscure these social categories are particularly effective in mitigating the effects of unconscious stereotypes. In any case, there is not enough data to judge that diversity training is effective.
Thaw → Transformation → Refreeze
So what should companies do that really want to correct inequality? The author recommends that the emphasis of training be placed on capacity building and that the framework of "thawing (unfreezing)-> transformation (change)-> refreezing (refreezing)" be adopted. This technique is introduced in detail in "Behavioral Determinism" co-authored by Max Baiserman and Don Moore.
The important thing is not only to raise awareness, but also to help make decisions. Then, think about how to fix (= refreeze) the new ideas and actions learned in the training.
Decompression is successful when people question their current behavior and become interested in other options. After thawing, look at the activities of the organization and consider how the current approach should be improved.
Finally, we must find a "refreeze" strategy that will establish a new way of thinking. The temptation to pull back to old ways and bad behavior is strong. We should focus on organizational reforms that make it easier for people with bias to take the right actions. The various "refreezing" methods proposed in this book are based on behavioral design methodologies. It is possible to change behavior by changing the environment in which they are placed, not the way people think.
Review the method of personnel evaluation
Overcome stereotypes with comparative evaluation
I will introduce one example of behavior design proposed by the author from the area of personnel evaluation. Economists Sendhil Mullainathan (Harvard University) and Marianne Bertrand (University of Chicago Booth School of Business) sent resumes of fictitious individuals to various companies and conducted experiments to observe the responses from the companies. Then, if the name on the resume was an African-American name such as Rakisha or Jamal, there was less response from the company than if it was a white name such as Greg or Emily.
Rakisha and Jamal had to have eight years of work experience to get the same number of contacts. In addition, Greg and Emily were regarded as "sales staff" and "assistants." On the other hand, Rakisha and Jamal were viewed as "black sales staff" and "black assistants." In short, many companies were strongly inspired by the latter name as "black."
How can we prevent this association? The author's idea for this is simple. Let the person who evaluates the job seeker make a judgment by comparing the two people. If you consciously compare and evaluate the two, you can avoid being unknowingly dragged by your inner image.
In the experiments conducted by the authors, when evaluating only one candidate, the stereotype for the group to which the candidate belongs ("male" and "female") ("male is better at math problems" and "language problem" If so, women are better at it. ”) Influenced the judgment. However, when the two candidates were compared and evaluated, the individual results of the candidates became more noticeable. As a result, not only did gender disparities disappear, but the best performing candidates were selected. In this way, comparative evaluation is not only fair, but also has the effect of maximizing profits.
Recommendation of reading
The appeal of this book is that it contains plenty of concrete examples that show that behavioral design contributes to the realization of equality. For example, there is a story about an experiment at a university about the importance of role models. At the venue for the speech, photos of female leaders such as Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel were displayed. Then, the female student's speech was better than when it was not displayed. These differences were not seen in the case of male students. The image of a "strong woman" may have given confidence to female students by breaking down gender stereotypes. Now, if your workplace is decorated with portraits of successive leaders, is there a female face there?
Harvard behavioral economists assert that evidence-based gender equality measures are essential knowledge for managers and diversity promoters.