In recruitment and hiring, gender bias is the inclination to make hiring decisions based on gender prejudice. Gender bias in hiring is concerning, and this bias has an effect on every stage of the recruitment and hiring process. A survey conducted by Insync revealed that recruiters and hiring managers are more likely to make decisions that are gender-biased if they hire more than 20 people yearly.
In the workplace, women experience gender bias at nearly every level of organizational structure. Women are 22% less likely to become managers even when their qualifications measure equally with their male counterparts. At the executive level, 94% of CEOs and 80% of corporate leaders in Fortune 500 companies are men.
Gender bias is especially prominent in male-dominated fields such as STEM. A 2018 study by Pew Research Center revealed that more than 50% of women report that they have experienced discrimination in the recruiting, hiring, and promotion processes.
While gender bias disproportionately affects women, men frequently experience gender bias when it comes to certain career paths. For example, an American Psychological Association (APA) study determined that men are less likely to enter fields that have been traditionally associated with women, including careers in nursing or early childhood education.
Men account for just 13% of U.S. registered nurses and 3% of kindergarten and preschool teachers. Moreover, the same study suggests that men who do venture into these fields often feel a decreased sense of belonging.
Blatant and deliberate gender bias is against the law. In the past, Southwest Airlines had a policy of only hiring female ticket agents and flight attendants. In 1981, a federal court ruled that the airline’s policy violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The ruling further ruled that the airline’s practice of specifying that flight attendants couldn’t be taller than 5’9” was discriminatory against men.
Gender bias can begin in the early stages of recruitment. A job posting that has terms associated with either masculinity or femininity can influence whether or not a job-seeker applies for the position. For example, terms such as “interpersonal skills” and “empath” often reflect languages related to females. Alternatively, terminology such as “decisive” or “adventurous” are unconsciously associated with males.
is intentionally unfair treatment of employees or candidates who belong to legally protected minority groups. If a person feels that they have been discriminated against because of their race, sexuality, or gender, they can claim disparate treatment.