Prove-It-Again Bias refers to the necessity for women to prove themselves again and again across the career. Due to negative gender and racial stereotypes about competence and work commitment, women and people of color are often assumed to lack the competence and commitment to sustain a successful professional career. To overcome these assumptions, women and people of color often perceive that they must go above and beyond to demonstrate their fitness and belonging.
Like not coming in with any kind of credibility is really detrimental, right? I think they just assume that because I am a female minority that I don’t have as much weight or credibility as the other partners do, which is frustrating…I've had to work harder, longer, stronger, smarter than a lot of my White counterparts because I don't get the automatic credibility that they get just because they have a JD after their name.
Nationally, White women and women of color were significantly more likely than White men to experience Prove-It-Again Bias. Survey findings also revealed significant Prove-It-Again Bias among women attorneys in Utah. While 17% of White men reported this type of bias, over a third of White women (36%) and a quarter of men and women of color (24%) reported experiencing pressures to prove themselves time and again.
Prove-It-Again Bias often results in enhanced pressures to be flawless. Women and people of color report that any mistake will be amplified, thereby risking their reputation and career mobility. Nationally, women reported that they are held to higher standards than their colleagues, requiring them to continually demonstrate a flawless performance. Utah survey findings reveal that a significant proportion of women (22%) felt like they can never make a mistake at work, compared to 14% of White men.