According to recent studies, the criterion for hiring women and men depends on how many employees in the company are of the same gender as the applicant. The more male employees work in a company, the greater the discrimination in hiring women. Conversely, men are disadvantaged in the selection process of jobs that are mainly performed by women, de Volkskrant reported.
The new study, which combined findings from 57 previous studies on gender discrimination, for the first time systematically examined the percentage of women and men in each occupational group. This involved sending out fictitious resumes of job applicants who differed from each other only in their gender. All other characteristics remained the same for both male and female applicants. Later, the researchers investigated which applicants were rejected by the respective companies.
The researchers were able to determine that in a hypothetical occupational group with only men, the chance for female applicants to be hired decreased by 3 percentage points compared to a male applicant with a similar résumé. However, the situation was different for female-dominated occupations, where female applicants had an advantage of 5 percentage points.
This also means that this discrimination in the application phase tends to put women at a financial disadvantage, the researchers conclude. This is because male-dominated professions, such as IT or engineering, are on average better paid than professions that are mainly carried out by women, such as teachers or in the care sector.
However, Floor Rink, professor of organizational behavior at the University of Groningen, does not consider the proportion of genders in an occupational group to be the cause of gender discrimination. Rather, this type of discrimination is due to stereotypes. Because in her opinion, society has a preconceived image of women and men. “Society sees women as social and cooperative and men as independent and objective,” she told de Volkskrant.
Therefore, there is an overrepresentation of women in more socially oriented professions, and vice versa with professions that are more proportionately held by men, Rink explains.
For her, it is clear that the more diverse the occupational groups become, the less reliance there will be on stereotypes to prevent gender discrimination “In the end we have to learn not to rely on stereotypes. Both men and women can be cooperative and objective,” the professor for organizational behavior told the newspaper.
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