Exposure to successful women: Antidote to sex discrimination in applicant screening decisions?

Madeline Heilman, Richard F. Martell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This research is designed to examine the proposition that exposure to the successes of women in traditionally male occupations will mitigate against subsequent sex bias in selection decisions. Prior to making initial screening decisions about a male or female applicant for a traditionally male job, i.e., finance manager trainee, 147 college students read an editorial documenting the successful performance of an individual woman or a group of women employed in a nontraditional job that either was or was not related to the job about which the personnel recommendations were to be made. A neutral information group read an editorial unrelated to women or work. As predicted, the discrepant ratings of male and female applicants in the neutral baseline condition were significantly reduced only when the information presented concerned a group of women and there also was a direct connection between the occupation in which they were successful and the occupation for which the screening decision was being made. Additional analyses supported the idea that this effect was due to the lessening of the stereotypie attributes used to characterize the female applicants. These results suggest that although exposure to successful women in heretofore male dominated occupations can reduce sex bias in personnel selection decisions, the conditions under which this is likely to occur are very limited. The implications of these results, both theoretical and practical, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-390
Number of pages15
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1986

Fingerprint

Sexism
Antidotes
Occupations
Personnel Selection
Sex discrimination
Screening
Students
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Psychology(all)
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this

Exposure to successful women : Antidote to sex discrimination in applicant screening decisions? / Heilman, Madeline; Martell, Richard F.

In: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Vol. 37, No. 3, 1986, p. 376-390.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{a4f716721dcb40f59b3377b3c02229f2,
title = "Exposure to successful women: Antidote to sex discrimination in applicant screening decisions?",
abstract = "This research is designed to examine the proposition that exposure to the successes of women in traditionally male occupations will mitigate against subsequent sex bias in selection decisions. Prior to making initial screening decisions about a male or female applicant for a traditionally male job, i.e., finance manager trainee, 147 college students read an editorial documenting the successful performance of an individual woman or a group of women employed in a nontraditional job that either was or was not related to the job about which the personnel recommendations were to be made. A neutral information group read an editorial unrelated to women or work. As predicted, the discrepant ratings of male and female applicants in the neutral baseline condition were significantly reduced only when the information presented concerned a group of women and there also was a direct connection between the occupation in which they were successful and the occupation for which the screening decision was being made. Additional analyses supported the idea that this effect was due to the lessening of the stereotypie attributes used to characterize the female applicants. These results suggest that although exposure to successful women in heretofore male dominated occupations can reduce sex bias in personnel selection decisions, the conditions under which this is likely to occur are very limited. The implications of these results, both theoretical and practical, are discussed.",
author = "Madeline Heilman and Martell, {Richard F.}",
year = "1986",
doi = "10.1016/0749-5978(86)90036-1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "37",
pages = "376--390",
journal = "Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes",
issn = "0749-5978",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exposure to successful women

T2 - Antidote to sex discrimination in applicant screening decisions?

AU - Heilman, Madeline

AU - Martell, Richard F.

PY - 1986

Y1 - 1986

N2 - This research is designed to examine the proposition that exposure to the successes of women in traditionally male occupations will mitigate against subsequent sex bias in selection decisions. Prior to making initial screening decisions about a male or female applicant for a traditionally male job, i.e., finance manager trainee, 147 college students read an editorial documenting the successful performance of an individual woman or a group of women employed in a nontraditional job that either was or was not related to the job about which the personnel recommendations were to be made. A neutral information group read an editorial unrelated to women or work. As predicted, the discrepant ratings of male and female applicants in the neutral baseline condition were significantly reduced only when the information presented concerned a group of women and there also was a direct connection between the occupation in which they were successful and the occupation for which the screening decision was being made. Additional analyses supported the idea that this effect was due to the lessening of the stereotypie attributes used to characterize the female applicants. These results suggest that although exposure to successful women in heretofore male dominated occupations can reduce sex bias in personnel selection decisions, the conditions under which this is likely to occur are very limited. The implications of these results, both theoretical and practical, are discussed.

AB - This research is designed to examine the proposition that exposure to the successes of women in traditionally male occupations will mitigate against subsequent sex bias in selection decisions. Prior to making initial screening decisions about a male or female applicant for a traditionally male job, i.e., finance manager trainee, 147 college students read an editorial documenting the successful performance of an individual woman or a group of women employed in a nontraditional job that either was or was not related to the job about which the personnel recommendations were to be made. A neutral information group read an editorial unrelated to women or work. As predicted, the discrepant ratings of male and female applicants in the neutral baseline condition were significantly reduced only when the information presented concerned a group of women and there also was a direct connection between the occupation in which they were successful and the occupation for which the screening decision was being made. Additional analyses supported the idea that this effect was due to the lessening of the stereotypie attributes used to characterize the female applicants. These results suggest that although exposure to successful women in heretofore male dominated occupations can reduce sex bias in personnel selection decisions, the conditions under which this is likely to occur are very limited. The implications of these results, both theoretical and practical, are discussed.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0000296359&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0000296359&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/0749-5978(86)90036-1

DO - 10.1016/0749-5978(86)90036-1

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0000296359

VL - 37

SP - 376

EP - 390

JO - Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

JF - Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

SN - 0749-5978

IS - 3

ER -