Study Says Women Do Worst in Interviews With Men Who Claim to Support Equality

Study shows women have poorer outcomes when interviewed by men who show implicit bias in the workplace

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A new study published by Psychology of Women Quarterly found that women have the worst outcomes when they interview with men who say they support equality, but show high levels of implicit bias in the workplace.

The study consisted of three parts with the first portion giving a group of men a series of male and female names and asking them to quickly associate with positive or negative words related to their competency in the workplace. This portion of the experiment was designed to detect any implicit bias from the men. In an effort to detect explicit bias, the men were asked specifically about their views on women and how confident they felt in them being able to get a job done. Lastly, the men conducted mock interviews with female candidates, which ultimately led to the conclusion that women perform poorly in interviews with  men who show high levels of implicit bias and low levels of explicit bias.

[Related: How to Address Unconscious Bias in the Workplace]

In the Professional Diversity Network’s most recent report, PDN President Star Jones brings to the forefront the prevalence of unconscious bias in the workplace. While these biases are often hidden, their effects can be long-term as proven by the Psychology of Women Quarterly study. When bias is affecting the outcome of the interview process it has a lasting effect on the demographic makeup of the candidates who eventually join the company.

“Bias is really what causes so called good or well-intentioned people to make poor decisions and those decisions manifest themselves in who they’re going to hire,” Jones tells, while emphasizing that the best way to address bias is to acknowledge that it exist.

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