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Implicit gender bias impedes employment of women in STEM jobs

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2020 | Workplace Discrimination |

Implicit bias against the competency of women in science, math and technology jobs contributes to the discrimination that women in these careers often report experiencing. Both male and female recruiters in New York and elsewhere tend to perceive male job applicants as superior to female applicants according to a Yale University study.

The Yale study found that scientists of both genders hired men more than women because they perceived male job candidates as more competent. They also granted salaries to men that were $4,000 higher per year than salaries given to women. Another study randomly attached male or female names to applications for a laboratory manager job. Researchers recorded results that showed a strong preference among both male and female faculty for hiring men and paying them more than women. Studies like these suggest that inherent cultural biases against women drive these decisions.

One possible solution to systemic bias against women is keeping resumes anonymous in the early stages of recruitment. Additionally, jobs with greater flexibility might enable female candidates to thrive if they do not have to derail their careers to meet family obligations.

Although cultural forces might stymie a person’s career, employment law could give a person the ability to hold a discriminatory person or institution accountable. To understand legal options in the face of discrimination in hiring, wrongful termination or sexual harassment, a person could talk to an attorney who understands employment law for employees. Legal advice might prepare someone to enter arbitration or file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Damages related to workplace discrimination could include lost pay and benefits as well as punitive damages against an employer. To pursue a settlement, an attorney might organize evidence about illegal treatment and confront an employer during negotiations or in the courtroom.