"The lesson is not that companies shouldn't adopt merit-based practices but that the pursuit of meritocracy is more difficult than it first appears. If not designed and implemented carefully, merit-based practices may trigger bias against women and ethnic minorities," Castilla said. "Perhaps implicit in companies and industries that pride themselves on being meritocratic is the presumption that they are fair and that they provide great workplace opportunities. However, because merit-based practices are ultimately implemented by managers, there are hidden risks."


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