Field Report: Making Talent Decisions Less Biased II


2 min readJan 28, 2019


Tech company had low promotion of female employees in specific departments in 2017. Client CHRO suspected bias in favour of male employees at performances review.

Our analysis of performance reviews found no bias during performance review. Issue was disproportionate assigning of high impact project to a few (male) employees.


The CHRO at a Security Technology company contacted GapJumpers to help revamp the performance review system in place. The purpose of the engagement was to make the promotion process more transparent and equitable.

GapJumpers analysed three years of performance reviews documents to figure out if the CHRO hypothesis was correct.

Over the last 2 years our in house machine learning team has been building an algorithm to uncover bottlenecks in performance review processes.

The algorithmic analysis (un)covers various aspects:

  • The content of the reviews.
  • The questions being asked.
  • The criteria for scoring.
  • The company succession plan documents
  • The behavioural data of high performers

Built via analysis of 250.000 performance review data sets from various clients, we deployed our algorithm on the data set of this client.

“While we always tinker with our performance review process, we’ve never been able to step back and review years of reviews to understand what actually happens VS what we think happens re: employee promotion & reviews.

Now we finally did and now we really know, so we could make changes that actually have an impact.”

CHRO, Client


What we found through the analysis of the client data set, concurred with a larger trend that we’ve seen at other clients:

The bottleneck was not at review stage, it was at task assignment stage

The manager reviews of female employees were consistently positive and female employees ranked in top tiers of scoring.

The issues was that the work that was being judged had a lower impact quotient than the work being reviewed of male colleagues.

The female employees had 42% less high impact project on the annual review sheet compared to male employees.

Armed with this understanding, GJ and client made the project assignment process more equitable, which lead to an 80% increase in female employees being promoted in 2018 compared to 2017.




Focusing on male managers needs & anxiety to create more diverse & inclusive workplaces