Women experience gender bias and discrimination in hiring process

hiring process

There are more women in the workforce than ever before, yet we still have a ways to go before achieving gender equity at work and in the hiring process, according to results from a new survey released today from RecruitmentMarketing.com and The Muse.

For example, while attracting female talent is a key goal for most organizations, 42% of women said they have encountered gender-biased or inappropriate questions during a job interview, and 41% said they have felt discriminated against during a job interview, due to gender. In addition, 38% even said they hesitated to apply for a job based on perceived gender bias.

These are just a few of the findings from the survey of over 1,000 female-identifying professionals on their experiences in job interviews, the workplace and their careers.

Other key highlights uncovered by the “2024 Women’s Workplace Experience Report” from The Muse and RecruitmentMarketing.com include:

  • Two-thirds of respondents (67%) think women in their industry have a hard time getting promoted
  • 87% of respondents do not believe men and women receive the same reaction from managers when negotiating a salary increase
  • Half of respondents (50%) are unsure if they are being compensated equally to their male counterparts.
  • 55% of respondents feel there’s not enough female representation in the leadership team at their organizations
  • 79% of respondents are more likely to seek out companies that have equal representation of women in managerial and leadership positions when looking for a new job
  • 41% of those surveyed do not currently, or have ever, had a female mentor at work

“At The Muse and Fairygodboss, which is the largest online career community for women, we’ve long championed the importance of advancing gender equity in the workplace,” said Heather Tenuto, CEO of The Muse Group. “Our survey with RecruitmentMarketing.com shows that in order to support women’s career success and longevity, we must assist them in finding jobs, companies, and career paths that resonate with their fundamental values and priorities. We have made some progress as a society, but there is significant room to grow with gender pay equity, inclusive leadership, female-friendly benefits, and placing value on a woman’s voice in our workplaces.”

Geographic Region and Seniority Impact Experience of Gender Bias at Work

Notably, there were geographical disparities in the data: 74% of women in the southeastern U.S.—including KentuckyTennesseeAlabama and Mississippi—faced discriminatory challenges, almost twice the rate of other regions. In addition, the survey indicated that seniority may play a role in the perception of discrimination in the interview process. The data showed that as the seniority of respondents increases, so does the likelihood of encountering biased or inappropriate questions during job interviews. More than half (55%) of women in the C-suite say they have been asked inappropriate questions in an interview, and 58% of them have felt discriminated against in an interview, compared to 41% overall on both issues.

“During Women’s History Month, RecruitmentMarketing.com, a dedicated platform to talent acquisition professionals, is committed to spotlighting the challenges faced by females in the recruitment funnels and within workplace organizations, as revealed by our survey in partnership with The Muse,” said Katie Fortunato, President and Co-Founder of RecruitmentMarketing.com. “Our goal is to equip talent acquisition professionals with necessary tools and knowledge, while also urging leadership to recognize and address these disparities. By doing so, we aim to inspire systemic change, fostering a more equitable future for rising generations and encouraging founders to consider these disparities in new innovation.”

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