Professor Heather Haveman presents her work "Shades of Gender in Employee Discourse"

March 13, 2024

Professor Heather Haveman presented fascinating work with Will Rathje on gender in employee discourse in a recent BIDS seminar, using employee review data from the tech sector posted to This is useful, because discourse is a reflection of the organization’s culture.

Seminar with Heather Haveman

 The work analyzes the language employees use and provides insights into what people think and feel about their workplace. It pays attention to content and context by looking at a focal word and the words on either side of it. Here are three primary steps they took:

 Step 1

 Step 2

 Step 3

The graphs below represent some of their results: Associations between the Gender Axis & Female Stereotypes and between the Gender Axis & Male Stereotypes.

 Gender Axis 1

 Gender Axis 2

At the completion of this analysis, Professor Haveman identified the following takeaways:

  • Some evidence that gender stereotypes are being de-gendered - especially leadership competence.
  • Some evidence that gender stereotypes are being flipped - especially
  • instrumental competence.
  • BUT evidence that key corporate values - innovation and performance - remain male-typed.
  • Evidence that the discourse of tech employees is largely male-shaded, although there is some variation.

This analysis work is ongoing and will look next at validation/comparisons (pre-trained and custom-trained word embeddings, tech sector vs. all sectors), new concepts (differences between managers & other employees, between technical workers & other employees), and refocusing on the organizational level.