While many people would likely agree that the United States has come a long way in terms of gender discrimination in the workplace, several studies still indicate that a bias still exists that must be overcome.
Some experts wonder whether making people aware of that bias will make a difference in helping to combat it. In one set of experiments, Professor Michelle Duguid of Washington University in St. Louis partnered with Professor Melissa Thomas-Hunt from the University of Virginia to find out whether greater awareness would weaken a bias. They gave information to some people in the study that showed the prevalence of stereotypes, while providing information to other people that showed that stereotypes are rare and not to be trusted.
After this, they asked the participants for their perceptions of women. Those who read about the common nature of stereotypes said women were more family-oriented and less career-oriented.
Another study published by the same professors involved a similar process, but instead involved managers that would be interviewing candidates for jobs. They repeated the process of either telling people that stereotypes were prevalent or rare and then had managers read the transcript of a job interview from a candidate described as being either female or male. The group of managers that had had the stereotypes encouraged was 28 percent less interested in hiring the female job candidate, and considered her to be 27 percent less likable. However, their views of the male candidate were not changed at all.
Based on these studies, it would seem that not only is there still a bias that exists in terms of gender in the workplace, but it is also heavily influenced based on the kinds of exposure that people have to stereotypes and other instances of discrimination.
If you have noticed gender discrimination in your workplace, consult the experienced New York employment law attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC.