Both male and female scientists are biased against women, according to a new study from researchers at Yale. Using the ol’ “evaluate identical job applications with different names attached” technique, researchers found scientists rated female applicants lower in competence and hireability, and — here’s the painful kicker — said they’d be less willing to mentor the women than men with identical qualifications. Oh, and they’d pay ‘em less, too. Oof. Science, am I right, ladies?
As Discover’s Cosmic Variance blog explains it, researchers gave academic scientists application materials purportedly from a student applying for a job as lab manager. The applications were identical except for the name on top: Some subjects received applications with female names, others with male names.
Survey says: Both male and female scientists viewed the women’s applications as less worthy by several measures. And that manifests itself in concrete ways. When asked how much they’d be willing to offer the various applicants as a starting salary, scientists said they’d offer the men an average of just over $30,000, and the women less than $27,000. Ouch.
The research mirrors a now-famous 2004 study that used a similar technique to test for biases against applicants with easily identifiable African-American names. Researchers sent 5,000 resumes in response to help-wanted ads listed in the Chicago Tribune, varying the names of the applicants to sound super-white (eg, Emily Walsh), or black (eg, Lakisha Washington). The results showed that applicants with white-sounding names are 50% likelier to be called in for an interview.
The takeaway here is clear: For the best chance at snagging a good job, you should definitely try your best to be born a white dude.