Updated: Feb 9, 2021
Searching for a job is hard enough, but for women, the possibility of experiencing gender bias in interviews can make the process of finding jobs for women even more difficult.
Unfortunately, hiring managers find it hard to completely eliminate unconscious bias. For example, one study by the Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School found hiring managers are influenced by their own inherent biases when evaluating individual job applicants. In the study, several hundred candidates, both male and female, were given math and verbal aptitude tests. Even when they saw the results of these tests, employers were still more likely to choose men for further math tasks and more likely to pick women for verbal tasks, even if they didn’t perform well on these tasks in the initial tests.
Given these sobering findings, it might seem almost inevitable that women will encounter examples of gender bias during the hiring process. However, there are ways you can avoid or reduce the impact of gender bias as much as possible when finding a job. Here are some of our best suggestions.
Share clear information about your own competence
An article in Future for Work explains that decision-makers focus less on gender-related information when they have other information that accurately indicates a job candidate’s high level of competence. So when you apply for a job, make sure you submit information that clearly details your chief responsibilities, achievements, technical skills and other qualifications.
You can also do this while answering interview questions. Elle Magazine says, “When you're answering the interview questions... bring your story to life by talking in detail about the work you've done and how you personally added value.” Doing this can help you overcome any unconscious bias your interviewers hold.
Use platforms that include digital recruitment methods
According to BusinessRecruiter, popular online platforms like Indeed, LinkedIn and Monster are increasingly using Artificial Intelligence in the hiring process. AI can help job platforms organize or shortlist job seekers according to the skills employers require.
Factorial HR explains that with AI, “there is hope for objective recruitment decisions and finally tackling gender bias in the recruitment process.” Nowadays when you submit your resume to online job platforms such as Indeed, LinkedIn and Monster, you can trust their Artificial Intelligence tools are filtering job-related information such as your skills in an unbiased manner before it reaches hiring managers.
Try new direct-to-hire solutions
Even though artificial intelligence is an important tool in eliminating bias, interviews for jobs for women remain a significant possible source of bias.
Women with equal skills to men can miss out on job opportunities simply because those interviewing them have unconscious biases in favour of men. In just one of the many documented examples of unconscious bias, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a study which found faculty participants believed a job application showed less competency and hire-ability when it supposedly came from a female undergraduate student than when it belonged to an undergraduate male student, even when the job application materials were exactly the same.
To solve the problem of interview bias, a new skill-based direct-to-hire platform called GeekBidz uses AI to allow job seekers to perform a skills ranking process, and also ranks users and matches job seekers, called “Geeks,” with employers, who can then invite the Geeks to an on-the-job evaluation. Geeks stay anonymous throughout the whole process. In this way, GeekBidz entirely eliminates the process of submitting resumes and references and giving an interview.
If you’re looking to reduce the possibility of gender bias in your interviews as much as possible, why not try this alternative to the traditional hiring process?