Diversity is good for business. It is well established that a strong link exists between diverse organisations and better business outcomes, where gender balance is the yardstick for overall diversity.
Accessing the benefits of diversity demands that our organisations be meritocratic. Yet, defining who has merit and who does not without introducing subjectivity and bias remains challenging in practice. This is especially true when it comes to promotions and senior appointments.
A promotion should be based on an unbiased assessment of both an individual’s past performance and their future potential to meet current and future requirements. However, while past performance should be relatively easy to assess, evaluating potential is much more subjective and this is often where biases can cloud judgement.