Two-thirds of the women interviewed, and two-thirds of the women surveyed, reported having to prove themselves over and over again – their successes discounted, their expertise questioned. “People just assume you’re not going to be able to cut it,” a statistician told us, in a typical comment. Black women were considerably more likely than other women to report having to deal with this type of bias; three-fourths of black women did. (And few Asian-American women felt that the stereotype of Asian-Americans as good at science helped them; that stereotype may well chiefly benefit Asian-American men.)
Experimental social psychologists have documented this type of bias over and over again in college labs, but this is the first time someone has taken that experimental literature and asked women whether it describes their experience in actual workplaces. It does.