By Joan Runnheim Olson
In a recent article published by The Glass Hammer, author Jessica Titlebaum shared the findings of what she discovered when attending the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Summit in Chicago recently.
At the Summit, Dr. Shelley Correll, a professor at Stanford University, shared findings of two studies on gender stereotypes and biases within the hiring process. I must admit I was stunned by her findings. In her presentation, Correll, referred to a study about the number of female musicians performing in orchestras.
Females only represented 5% of musicians that played in symphony orchestras in the 1970's. Blind auditions where then introduced and musicians played behind a screen so the sex of the musician was hidden. As a result of this move, 50 percent of the musicians that moved on to the second round of auditions were females.
As a result, today females make up 25% of the musicians in symphony orchestras. Gender stereotypes bias the evaluations of individuals while proving to be an advantage to male applicants. Through their use of a screen to hide the sex of the musician they discovered that biases can be reduced or even eliminated. Correll brought up about another study by Cordelia Fine, from the book, Delusions of Gender.
In her study, a group of hiring managers were given the same resume to evaluate. One group reviewed a resume with a man's name at the top while the other half reviewed the same resume with a woman's name at the top. According to this study, 79 percent of the hiring managers believed that the male resume was capable of the job while only 42 percent picked the female resume.
Correll shared tips on how females can combat these stereotypes during the hiring process through self-promotion, staying positive and appearing confident.