Reminders about gender bias sway hiring: Study

Employment equity statements can help reduce bias
By Shannon Klie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/23/2010

Without a reminder about employment equity practices or gender imbalances in the workforce, tomorrow’s business leaders revert to using gender stereotypes when making hiring decisions, according to a study.

Despite being raised with employment equity messages from the government, media and schools, undergraduate commerce students are still quite biased when deciding whom to hire for nursing or policing positions, said Willi Wisener, associate professor of human resources and management at McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business in Hamilton.

“There is an ingrained perspective that certain jobs are just male and certain jobs are just female,” said Wisener, co-author of the study Are Men Always Picked Over Women? The Effects of Employment Equity Directives on Selection Decisions.