Original Article

Sex Roles

, Volume 57, Issue 7, pp 497-508

First online:

Effects of Applicant Pregnancy on Hiring Decisions and Interview Ratings

  • Jennifer CunninghamAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • , Therese MacanAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Missouri-St. Louis Email author 

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The effects of pregnancy on hiring decisions during employment interviews are examined in a United States sample of 210 undergraduate business school students at a Midwestern university. A pregnant applicant was compared to a non-pregnant applicant with identical credentials and interview performance to explore any differences in interviewer ratings of qualifications and hiring by having participants view videotaped interviews. Results show that in spite of being viewed as equally qualified and well-suited for the job, the pregnant applicant received significantly lower hiring recommendation ratings. The pregnant applicant was also rated as more likely to need time off, miss work and quit compared to the non-pregnant applicant, indicating a concern about absenteeism regarding the pregnant applicant.


Employment interviews Pregnancy Hiring issues Discrimination