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As much as we'd love to say it doesn't, gender bias still exists in the workplace today.
At first glance, you might not be able to see it, but unconscious bias statistics have shown that certain individuals are less likely to be hired because of their gender, even when they're equally qualified.
This is a problem for several reasons. For one, it keeps qualified people out of the workforce, which affects their future and limits their opportunities for career advancement.
Additionally, it can create an unbalanced workplace where one gender dominates. This can lead to an environment that's uncomfortable or even hostile for the minority gender.
So what can be done to combat gender bias in the hiring process?
For starters, interviewers (who are the gatekeepers to roles within a company) should be aware of their own biases and make an effort to correct them.
A great stepping stone to identifying your own biases is this implicit bias test from Project Implicit and Harvard University.
Hiring bias statistics have shown that the workforce is getting more diverse as we focus on qualifications over personal traits, and this is a great step in the right direction, but we need to do more to ensure that qualified people, no matter their gender, have access to opportunities in thriving companies.
We can begin by ensuring that our job posts use inclusive language, by using a diverse pool of applicants when making hiring decisions, by creating a diverse panel of interviewers, and by using interview intelligence software.
They will all contribute to lowering bias in hiring statistics across the global workplace.
Additionally, companies can create an anonymous application process, where names and other identifying information are removed from resumes before they're reviewed.
This takes the focus off of an applicant's gender and allows them to be evaluated based on their qualifications alone, removing hiring bias.
Making these small changes can go a long way in ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed in the workplace.
Gender bias in the hiring process has no place in the workforce today. By taking steps to identify and correct our own biases, we can create a more inclusive environment where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.
In September 2020, McKinsey studied the effects of unconscious gender bias in the workplace and found that from 2015 - Q3 of 2020, the global workforce only made small strides in gender equality.
In, “Ten Things to Know About Gender Equality,” as well as a collaborative study with LeanIn.org; Women in the Workplace showed that: From 2015 - 2019, North American workforce gender diversity only increased by 3%.
This glass ceiling is often attributed to unconscious gender bias - where interviewers have a preference for one gender over another, without even realizing it.
In their research, they found that:
- 1 in 2 women has experienced some form of bias at work.
- 1 in 3 believe they've been passed over for a role or opportunity because of their gender.
- Less than half of women say their company is doing what it takes to improve gender diversity.
Unconscious gender bias examples are often subtle, but they can have a big impact on an individual's career.
These biases can present themselves in different ways, from the words used in a job posting, to the way an interviewer speaks to candidates or even the questions that are asked during an interview.
For example, research has shown that women are more likely to be asked about their family life or childcare arrangements than men and that they're also more likely to be interrupted when speaking.
Even if interviewers don't realize it, they may be more likely to hire someone who reminds them of themselves, or who fits the stereotype of what a successful candidate looks like.
These statistics show that we still have a long way to go when it comes to achieving gender equality in the workplace. But by taking steps to identify and correct our own biases, we can create a more inclusive environment where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.
How to Overcome Unconscious Gender Bias:
If you're not sure how to go about correcting your own unconscious gender bias, here are a few steps you can take:
1. Be aware of your own biases. The first step is to be aware of your own biases and the way they might influence your decisions. In the first section of this article, there's a bias test that we highly recommend. If you've never identified your own implicit biases this is a great place to start.
2. Make an effort to be more inclusive in your language. When writing job postings or interviewing candidates, make an effort to use gender-neutral language. For example, instead of using words like "ambitious" or "aggressive," try words like "motivated" or "assertive."
3. Use a diverse pool of applicants. When making hiring decisions, consider a diverse pool of applicants to help reduce bias.
4. Create an anonymous application process. One way to remove bias from the hiring process is to create an anonymous application process, where names and other identifying information are removed from resumes before they're reviewed.
5. Create a diverse interview panel so that multiple perspectives are represented.
6. Train your employees on unconscious bias. Once you've taken steps to reduce bias in your own hiring process, it's important to train your employees on the issue as well. This will help create a more inclusive culture and ensure that everyone is aware of the issue and taking steps to address it.
One of the most effective tools you can use to coach your team is interview intelligence software.
This type of software uses data and analytics to identify unconscious bias in the interview process and provides recommendations on how to mitigate it.
By taking steps to address unconscious gender bias, you can help create a more inclusive environment where everyone has an opportunity to succeed.
Some examples of gender bias in recruitment are:
1. The use of gendered language in job postings: Research has shown that the use of gendered language in job postings can deter women from applying for a role.For example, words like "competitive," "dominant," or "leader" are more likely to attract male applicants, while words like "collaborative," "supportive," or "nurturing" are more likely to attract female applicants.
2. Homophily: The tendency to hire people who are similar to ourselves. Studies have shown that we're more likely to hire someone who reminds us of ourselves, or who fits the stereotype of what a successful candidate looks like.
3. The motherhood penalty: Mothers are often penalized in the workforce, and this can extend to the hiring process. Studies have shown that mothers are less likely to be hired than childless women, and when they are hired, they're offered lower salaries.
4. The fatherhood premium: Fathers, on the other hand, tend to be rewarded in the workforce. Studies have shown that fathers are more likely to be hired than childless men, and when they are hired, they're offered higher salaries.
5. The beauty premium: There's a lot of research that shows that attractive people tend to be favored in the workforce. Attractive women are more likely to be hired than unattractive women, and when they are hired, they're offered higher salaries. Attractive men also tend to be favored in the workplace, but the effect is not as strong.
These are just a few of the many ways that gender bias can manifest in the recruitment process. By being aware of these biases, you can take steps to mitigate their impact and create a more inclusive hiring process.
The quality of your workforce will often be defined by how gender and ethnicity play a role in hiring decisions within your company.
Interviewing is tough on everyone. You have to be careful not to ask any questions that could be perceived as discriminatory, and you want to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to shine.
For a list of these questions, check out, “What NOT to Ask in an Interview.”
Unfortunately, gender bias in interviews can still creep in, even when we're trying our best to avoid it.
Reducing gender bias in interviews will greatly diminish candidates' stress levels, so they can focus on what they're good at - selling themselves to you.
Here are a few ways to reduce gender bias in the hiring process:
1. Use structured interviews: Structured interviews are interviews that are carefully planned and scripted in advance. This helps to ensure that all candidates are asked the same questions and that each question is relevant to the role.
2. Avoid leading questions: Leading questions are questions that are phrased in a way that leads the candidate to a particular answer. For example, "You're not planning on having any more children, are you?" is a leading question that can be used to discriminate against mothers.
3. Be aware of your interviewer's biases: We all have our own personal biases, and it's important to be aware of them before we enter into the interview process. By taking a moment to reflect on our own biases, we can help to avoid letting them influence our decisions. When you're coaching your team on interviewing effectively, using interview intelligence software will help you identify and note team biases that could affect your hiring process and goals to build a great team.
4. Ask everyone the same questions: One of the best ways to reduce bias in the interview process is to make sure that all candidates are asked the same questions.
Gender-neutral interview questions are a great way to remove bias, level the playing field for candidates, and ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to shine.
Reducing gender bias in interviews is something we should all be striving for. Creating a more inclusive interview process that gives everyone a fair chance to showcase their skills benefits everyone involved.
Avoiding gender bias interview questions begins with self-awareness, and a willingness to face our own biases. This is often uncomfortable, but once we're aware of our personal biases, we can start to take steps to avoid letting them influence our decisions.
Gender bias in hiring statistics shows that increasing the length of your candidate shortlist increased female candidate participation from 15- 20%.
HBR notes this phenomenon in their article, "Research: To Reduce Bias in Hiring, Make Your Shortlist Longer."
Gender discrimination in the hiring process is a reality for many candidates, but there are ways to avoid it.
Avoiding gender bias in interviews can be difficult, but it's important to take steps to eliminate letting them influence our decisions. Asking everyone the same questions is one way to level the playing field and give everyone an equal opportunity to showcase their skills.
Ultimately, gender bias in the hiring process can negatively impact your company so it's become a regular practice to ask gender and protection interview questions that will allow a candidate to showcase their views on diversity.
Feel free to create a semi-structured list of these questions and add them to your interview process. Your company culture will be better for it.
When interviewers focus on a candidate's ability to do the job, without allowing personal biases to influence their decision-making, everyone benefits. The candidate experiences less stress and anxiety, and the company is more likely to hire the best person for the job.
Finally, Pillar's interview intelligence software powered by AI is one more tool in your diversity toolbox. It will help you identify and note team biases that could affect your hiring process and goals.
Request a demo today to see how we can help you create an inclusive company culture, effectively.