The Australia unit of global recruitment firm Hays recently put to the test the common suspicion that there are gender biases in the recruitment process. They surveyed more than a thousand hiring managers, asking them to evaluate a resume and assess a potential candidate’s likelihood to be interviewed. Half of the otherwise identical resumes submitted featured the name ‘Simon’ and the other half ‘Susan’.
For the larger company employer (with more than 500 employees), there was a 6% difference in likelihood of interview based on the resume: 62% said it was likely Simon would get an interview, while just 56% wanted to interview Susan. For hiring managers with more extensive hiring experience, the stats were somewhat worse: 62% would interview Simon and 51% would interview Susan.
Other interesting findings were that while females seemed to favor female candidates, and males favored male candidates, they were still both more likely to interview and hire someone named Simon!
It is difficult to see a practical application or strategy based on this information for someone submitting their executive resume for consideration, since you obviously do need to provide your name on your resume. One might possibly go with initials, but that could potentially present other problems–among them being that some people tend to be uncomfortable about calling someone whose gender they do not know. I guess the conclusion to be reached is that society still has a way to go in reaching gender equality in hiring, as it does regarding age, ethnicity, religious background, etc.