Sunday, February 15, 2015

Fighting Gender Bias ~ Why We Need Anonymous Resumes

Did you know that by merely listing a "feminine" name on a resume or application, a woman can be overlooked for a job?

While we have written before on women in business issues; “Women in Business ~ My Case for Why We Need to Help Ourselves” and “The Ability to Choose ~ A Legacy We Leave to Our Daughters” .... This time it is Different.

In, “Case Closed: Women Do Make Teams Smarter”, author Geoffrey James delves into the subject of women in high-tech companies. James calls these high-tech jobs a male dominated field with, at times, an openly hostile treatment of women applicants and employees.

While this was not much of surprise, it is the following quote from the article that really widened our eyes;

“It turns out that gender bias starts in the selection of candidates to be interviewed. Several studies have shown that a resume bearing a man's name results in more job interviews than the identical resume bearing a woman's name.”

We were incredulous. Could it really be that simply seeing a woman’s name on a resume can result in them being overlooked and ignored for the job ~ even when they are equally, or even more, qualified than a male candidate?

That is simply ridiculous! Women are good at their jobs. They come to the table with all the education, skills, and abilities to excel. And employers in all sectors would do well to realize this.  

According to a report by Rochelle Sharpe in Bloomberg Business Week, “As Leaders, Women Rule”,  “female managers' strengths have long been undervalued, and their contributions in the workplace have gone largely unnoticed and unrewarded. Companies are now saying they want the skills women typically bring to the job, but such rhetoric doesn't always translate into reality”.

Employers, managers, and supervisors often pass over women for promotions due to their bias, either conscious or unconscious, about their abilities. Their belief is that traditional “female” traits makes them less qualified and clouds their judgment.   

We would all like to believe that we have evolved beyond this way of thinking, but clearly that is not the case.

The bottom line is this ~ we need to start at the beginning. We need to fight bias during the hiring process.
This is where we found Geoffrey James’ article most fascinating. In it he proposes an interesting solution ~ removing names from all resumes!

James advocates stripping “candidates' names from their resumes before you select which candidates to interview”. He even goes as far as suggesting that the selection process be followed by remote interviews; “with the candidate represented as a neutral-gender avatar mirroring the candidate's facial expressions. Morph the candidate's voice so that it's gender neutral”.

James believes that this will result in a more even playing field. While he is specifically addressing the world of high-tech, we think this could cross over to any field.  

This idea may only get women in the door, but it is a start. As the climate changes and more and more women are given the chance, we can all accomplish great things and create a better world for step at a time.

As B.R. Ambedkar, an Indian jurist and social reformer, states; 

Now about this “equal pay for equal work” issue......

Authored by  
We would love you to hear what you think. Please leave a comment below. Thanks!

At Access Profiles, Inc. we are focused on 
helping your Small Businesses succeed. Contact Us  to discuss how we can help you hire safely and effectively. And be sure to Subscribe Now to our blog. You will receive one new article every month filled with tips and information for 
your Small Business!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting our website. Contact Us! We can answer your questions and offer you a consultation on how we can help You with your Hiring, Business, and Security Needs!

We also invite you to Subscribe. Just leave your email and you will get one new article each month with tips and information focused on You and Your Business!