Does gender discrimination in hiring cut both ways? A new study in Plos One indicates yes.
Researchers from the University of California at Irvine and Linköping University submitted 3,200 faux applications to employers throughout Sweden and found that men are widely discriminated against when applying to mostly female occupations including nursing, childcare, and preschool teaching, where male applicants were much less likely to proceed to later rounds of hiring. The most extreme discrimination was found in cleaning jobs.
Conversely, the researchers saw zero discrimination against women in male-dominated occupations such as warehouse workers, IT developers, truck drivers, and mechanics. This is surprising given the abundance of data showing that women are disadvantaged in the workplace terms of salary and promotions.
These findings align with previous smaller studies, and open the door for closer examination of where along the hiring process discrimination takes place. This study only evaluated the application sorting phase, not later interview and salary-negotiation processes.
“That men’s applications—not women’s—are eliminated in the application process is interesting. So, the follow-up question is, what happens along the way?” says coauthor Mark Granberg, a doctoral candidate in economics at Linköping University.