Women 30% Less Likely To Be Called Back For Job Interview, Study Finds

BARCELONA — The gender gap may be closing, but research shows there’s still a long way to go for women to feel like they’re on a level playing field with men in the business world. A new study finds that women are 30% less likely to be called in for an in-person interview than men.

For the study, researchers with the Universitat Pompeau Fabra in Spain sent fictitious resumes for people between the ages of 37 and 39 to 1,372 real job offers in Madrid and Barcelona. The researchers sent these resumes to 18 different occupations that varied in degree of traditional feminine positions, required qualifications, and had high responsibilities. The authors also sent identical resumes to each open position, one for a male candidate and other for a female.

The resumes representing male candidates for these jobs received a call back for an interview 10.9% of the time, compared to just 7.7% of the time when the same resumes represented female candidates. Researchers calculated that in equal conditions, the probability of receiving a call back if female was 30% lower than for men.

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One inhibitor of women finding their footing in the workplace is children. The study shows that women without children are 23.5% less likely than men to get a call-back, while women with children are 35.9% less likely.

Still, the authors say that experience and additional skills still matter for men and women. The so-called “gender penalty” is reduced for women who have additional skills beyond the qualifications for a job, and/or speak more than one language. That said, the authors ultimately believe that gender bias in the hiring process is mostly based on stereotypes about productivity, rather than on prejudice.

The study was published in the European Sociological Review.

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