May the best male win.
Reported by Inside Higher Ed, while a 2012 study revealed significant gender bias in hiring within biology and physics departments, a more recent study unfortunately shows more of the same. With these studies, resumes were submitted for roles with identical qualifications, yet with different first and last names.
While the women candidates were rated as more likable by both physicists and biologists, physicists rated the male candidates as more competent, and also rated both Asian and white candidates as more competent than black and Latinx candidates. And while biologists avoided the gender bias in terms of competence ranking, women of color still suffered from the bias.
The takeaway? Even for faculty who deeply believe they’re being objective in their hiring decisions, the truth behind this data means that they may not be able to be. Antibias trainings are critical to make departments aware of their subconscious reality, even when they may “feel” like they’re being hyper-rational in their decision-making. And designing a partially “blind” recruitment process that gets your candidate pool down to a short-list before being made aware of the candidate’s name could also help ensure you’re truly hiring the best candidates for your roles.
May you continue to fight the good enrollment growth fight at your institution today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.
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