HR – Are Female Candidates Discriminated Against?

A recent study by the University Of Chicago’s Booth School of Science, has produced findings that suggest a Manager hiring staff is more likely to pick a male candidate over better qualified female counterparts for science, technology, engineering and maths roles (STEM).

The University ran a laboratory experiment recreating job interviews for females applying for science-related roles.  In the experiment, STEM employers were presented with no information other than a candidate’s name and asked which candidates they were likely to hire. The results from both men and women were that they were more likely to pick a male candidate than female.

The employers were then advised that they would be hiring for a role that required strong mathematical skills and then the candidates were presented with a maths exam. The results revealed the gender bias lessened but did not disappear.

The findings come as the Confederation of British Industry announced plans for colleges and universities to set and report on women’s uptake in STEM subjects. The model is based on Lord Davies’ report into getting women into the boardroom and looks at tackling both the gender bias and the skills shortage in the technology and engineering sectors.

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