An initiative by the leaders of Australian Public Service to promote gender equality through blind recruitment efforts has failed, according to reports.
The trial, which was an effort to push more women in senior position jobs, revealed that removing the gender from a candidate’s application does not help boost gender equality in hiring. The trial also revealed that adding a male name to a candidate’s application made them 3.2 percent less likely to get the job while adding a female name made it 2.9 percent more likely that the candidate would be hired.
Researchers assumed that removing gender identifiers from an application would make it easier for women to obtain employment in senior positions that have traditionally been dominated by men.
“We anticipated this would have a positive impact on diversity — making it more likely that female candidates and those from ethnic minorities are selected for the shortlist,” said Professor Michael Hiscox, a Harvard academic. “We found the opposite, that de-identifying candidates reduced the likelihood of women being selected for the shortlist.”
Hiscox warned governments and companies to consider the real possibility that gender-blind hiring processes may actually lessen equality in the workplace. “We should hit pause and be very cautious about introducing this as a way of improving diversity, as it can have the opposite effect,” Professor Hiscox claimed.
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org