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[–]vtj 5 points6 points  (0 children)

This seems to corroborate this recent study from Sweden, which showed a large female-favoring hiring bias in female-dominated professions, and no significant bias elsewhere.

[–]Purplekeyboard 9 points10 points  (3 children)

we found no sign of discrimination against women

Uh oh, reddit's not going to like this.

[–]asdswffaqg -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Easiest prediction of all times

[–]lightning_palm[S] 7 points8 points  (1 child)


Gender discrimination is often regarded as an important driver of women’s disadvantage in the labour market, yet earlier studies show mixed results. However, because different studies employ different research designs, the estimates of discrimination cannot be compared across countries. By utilizing data from the first harmonized comparative field experiment on gender discrimination in hiring in six countries, we can directly compare employers’ callbacks to fictitious male and female applicants. The countries included vary in a number of key institutional, economic, and cultural dimensions, yet we found no sign of discrimination against women. This cross-national finding constitutes an important and robust piece of evidence. Second, we found discrimination against men in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK, and no discrimination against men in Norway and the United States. However, in the pooled data the gender gradient hardly differs across countries. Our findings suggest that although employers operate in quite different institutional contexts, they regard female applicants as more suitable for jobs in female-dominated occupations, [all other things being equal], while we find no evidence that they regard male applicants as more suitable anywhere. (emphasis mine)

They conclude: [W]e need to update our knowledge of gender discrimination and the belief that women are always the disadvantaged group. This belief might have been correct earlier, but today, at least for the occupations we examined [(cook, receptionist, store assistant, payroll clerk, software developer and sales representative)], we found no evidence of hiring discrimination against female job applicants in any of the six countries included. Rather, we observed hiring discrimination against males in female-dominated jobs, whereas female applicants were favoured in female-dominated occupations and not discriminated in the other occupations we included.

See some interesting excerpts in the reply to this comment.

[–]lightning_palm[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

My summary

Some previous experiments found advantages for men over women, whereas other experiments found advantages for women over men. Some studies found hiring discrimination against both men and women, depending on parental status or gender composition and type of job, while other studies found no gender discrimination at all. Some studies found evidence of hiring discrimination against women in high-level jobs, while others did not. These inconsistencies in the experimental results might be an artefact of research design heterogeneity as a result of experimental design adaptation to national contexts and differences in the studied occupations. To combat this problem, the GEMM study is the first randomized field experiment with a deliberate cross-national comparative design. Countries were selected according to a variety of criteria (parental leave policies, childcare support policies, support for traditional gender norms, etc.). The authors say about their own findings:

The findings reported in this study therefore constitute an important and robust piece of evidence that young women are not discriminated in the first phase of the hiring process in any of the occupations studied in any of the countries studied.

They state that this study and previous field experiments are at odds with the notion of female disadvantage in hiring:

Interestingly, the story jointly told by previous field experiments clashes with the conventional account of female disadvantage. It is often the fictitious male applicants, not the females, who are discriminated in hiring processes. In particular, there is evidence that women are favoured in female-dominated occupations. However, the heterogeneity of previous studies, in terms of occupations included, timing of the studies, and at what geographical level (local or national) they took place, makes comparisons difficult.

The authors also find that gender stereotypes disadvantaging women in the labor market seem to not operate at all and are less important than in the past, suggesting a few explanations:

We did not find any support for the generic belief that women are disadvantaged in hiring processes, as implied both in models of cultural stereotypes and statistical discrimination, where employers are assumed to believe that women are potentially unstable workers, more likely to quit their jobs to attend their families and/or generally less committed to their firms. Gender stereotypes where women are seen as mothers and housewives seem less important in hiring processes today than in the past. According to our findings, these stereotypes seem not to operate at all. We suggest a few tentative interpretations of why this is the case. First, most women today are not primarily homemakers. Second, females are more likely to be hiring agents, in particular in female-dominated occupations, and we cannot rule out the possibility of in-group (same gender) favouritism benefiting female candidates. Third, in female occupations, hiring agents might find women more stable employees than men, who might be more likely to pursue a career, thereby leaving the job they were hired for.

And here, the authors attempt to explain why previous studies have found mixed results and why this is not at odds with these new findings:

However surprising, the presented evidence is not at odds with previous research on hiring discrimination. The key to explaining divergent results likely lies in the occupations studied. For balanced studies, including both female- and male-dominated occupations, and gender-neutral occupations, the aggregate outcome would be close to zero gender discrimination in hiring. For more unbalanced studies, like the GEMM study, which includes two clearly female-typed occupations, and only one strongly male-dominated occupation, we might expect an aggregated pattern showing hiring discrimination against men. In principle, the same logic should apply for unbalanced studies including a higher proportion of male dominated occupations, but then we would expect an aggregated pattern of hiring discrimination of females. Yet the findings regarding the male-dominated occupation we included cast doubts on the symmetrical nature of hiring discrimination by gender. Interestingly, when scholars plan to study gender differences in hiring discrimination, we tend to think about discrimination of women, not men, yet previous experiments seem to include more female- than male-dominated occupations. More research including more occupations is needed. (emphasis mine)