Insync Surveys partnered with Hays to explore potential gender
bias at the very start of the employee life cycle: the way hiring
decisions are made.
We designed our survey to investigate the potential for
unconscious gender bias in the recruitment process. We presented
participants with a hypothetical CV for a Sales Manager position.
Participants were asked to review the CV and answer a series of
questions about the candidate's attributes and technical skills
matching with the job advertisement criteria. Participants were
then asked to decide whether they would interview and/or hire the
The bigger the business the bigger the bias
- 62 per cent of respondents from organisations with over 500
staff said it was extremely probable that they would interview
'Simon'; 56 per cent would interview 'Susan'.
- In organisations with less than 500 staff this interview bias
More recruitment experience means more bias
- Survey respondents who hire more than 20 people a year were
more likely to interview 'Simon' over 'Susan' (65 per cent versus
51 per cent).
- For hiring managers who recruited less regularly, the gap
between 'Susan' and 'Simon' reduced to just 3 per cent.
We prefer candidates just like us - but still hire more men
- Female respondents said 'Susan' matched 14 of the 20 attributes
needed for the job extremely well, but 'Simon' only matched 6 of
the 20 attributes extremely well.
- Men said 'Simon' matched 14 of the 20 attributes extremely
well, but 'Susan' matched only 6 of the 20 attributes extremely
- Despite this, both genders were significantly more likely to
interview and hire 'Simon' rather than 'Susan'.
Public and not-for-profit bias towards women
- 31 per cent of public and not-for-profit respondents said
'Simon' had the leadership skills to do the job, compared to 42 per
cent in the private sector.
- Public and not-for-profit sector respondents were also more
likely to see 'Susan' rather than 'Simon' as having the technical
skills (36 per cent versus 30 per cent) and leadership skills (39
per cent versus 31 per cent) to perform the role.
Organisations are still not serious (enough) about gender
- 56 per cent of hiring managers said plans and resources need to
be put in place or improved to help achieve gender diversity in
- 44 per cent said their CEO is not serious enough about
achieving gender diversity in their organisation.
- 39 per cent said their senior executives need to be better role
models of diversity and inclusiveness.