What You Don’t Know About Gender Bias in the Hiring Process

By Team Hireology,
June 11, 2014

You might have read this blog’s title and thought “Not me, not at my company.” And it’s probably true–much has been made of gender discrimination in the work place, and in our equality-driven world most businesses steer far clear of this unethical practice. It’s safe to say that most people wouldn’t explicitly discriminate based upon gender. 

According to a new study, however, gender bias in the hiring process is still very much alive on a subconscious level. The study, published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and conducted by professors from Columbia University, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago, was heavily discussed in a recent Inc. article on removing gender bias from the recruitment process. This bias, whether implemented consciously or subconsciously, results in a number of harmful ramifications for businesses. Here are a few interesting findings from the study that you should consider in relation to your own hiring decisions. 

1. Discrimination against female job candidates is not alleviated by a female hiring manager. In the study, both men and women discriminated against them equally. 

2. Hiring managers don’t always take into account the gender differences in self-portrayal. Men are more likely to flaunt their achievements while women tend to be more humble.

3. The hiring choices made by managers are usually in line with their already-existing beliefs about the differences in performance of men and women. In addition, managers who already have this general bias are more likely to believe male candidates when they overestimate their abilities. 

Make sure gender bias isn’t getting in the way of hiring the best talent for your business. For more tips on acquiring the best talent, be sure to check out our guide on conducting phone interviews. 

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