Apparently Gender Blind Hiring Doesn’t Work

Just when you thought things were starting to become even for both genders in the workplace, a new study emanating from the Australian government showed that non-discriminatory efforts have actually backfired.

In a push to eliminate sexism from the workplace, thousands of public servants had been told to pick recruits who have had all mention of their gender and ethnic background stripped from their CVs. But in a surprising show of results, the trial found assigning a male name to a candidate made them 3.2 percent less likely to get a job interview. Adding a woman’s name to a CV made the candidate 2.9 percent more likely to get a foot in the door.

Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s a win for women in an environment where the gender pay gap and female representation on management boards are still lopsided across the world, not to mention the rife sexism in workplace environments. For example, in 2016, $94 billion was invested in companies that had only male founders, while $10 billion went to businesses with at least one female founder. Nonetheless, these results prove that at least some effort is being made in ironing out some of these employment issues.

The de-identification practice was embraced by leading consulting companies such as Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Victoria Police and Westpac Bank, however, the study had such a surprising impact that the practice has now been put on hold until further examination of such practices is inspected.

Michael Hiscox, a Harvard University professor and organiser of the study said, “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, but we should hit pause and be very cautious about introducing this as a way of improving diversity, as it can have the opposite effect.”