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  1. Raso, Rosanne MS, RN, CNAA

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Q I recently applied for a position as a nurse leader and wasn't offered the job; a male colleague was. How can I ask about possible gender bias without appearing as though it's just sour grapes?


I understand your disappointment. I believe we go through all the stages of grief when we don't get a job for which we feel qualified and ready. From another perspective, the selection process isn't easy when there are multiple excellent candidates; it can come down to some very fine points in a person's style or history to tip the scale in favor of who's believed to be the best person for the job.


Ask yourself some introspective questions. How was your interview? Were you prepared, poised, passionate, focused on the success of the organization, and communicating clearly? Did you make any interview mistakes such as speaking negatively about anyone or the organization? How are your performance evaluations and overall job performance? Your history of job accomplishments and demonstrated leadership competencies weigh heavily in making a manager choice. I personally look for positive energy radiating from a candidate, with a clear connection to organizational goals and values. Consensus among the entire selection committee is also important.


I'd suggest you ask your boss or the person making the hiring decision for feedback. How did your interview go? What are your strengths? What skills should you develop to increase your chances of success in obtaining a leadership role? Or is there another role that would be a better choice for you? There's always opportunity to continue growing in your current position and to position yourself well for the next opening.

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If you receive feedback and do some introspective thinking, you'll most likely figure out the answer to your question, and it may not be gender bias. Keep the sour grapes to yourself and turn them into positive energy for your bright future ahead.