Avoiding Bias in Recommendation Letters

All of us may hold biases of which we are unaware, and unfortunately, these biases can sometimes enter into our writing. The following sources are helpful in learning how to recognize, avoid, and rectify bias in letters of recommendation:

  • A one-pager from the Georgetown University School of Medicine Office of Diversity and Inclusion on avoiding gender bias when writing letters of recommendation.
  • A one-pager from the University of California on avoiding racial bias.
  • A one-pager from LeHigh University with examples of language and phrases that are gendered and/or racially biased.
  • A brief list of best practices for avoiding gender bias from the University of Arizona.
  • Gender bias calculator. Copy and paste the content of your letter into this calculator and it will flag commonly female-associated vs. male-associated words.

For questions or concerns, please email the Center for Research and Fellowships (CRF) at fellowships@georgetown.edu.