Sex Roles

, Volume 52, Issue 1–2, pp 63–82 | Cite as

The Name Game: Employability Evaluations of Prototypical Applicants with Stereotypical Feminine and Masculine First Names

  • faye l. smith
  • Filiz Tabak
  • Sammy Showail
  • Judi McLean Parks
  • Janean S. Kleist


This study was designed to examine professional human resource managers’ recommendations and inferences about prototypical applicants who had identical qualifications, in which the presence of periods of unemployment and name (feminine, masculine) of applicants were manipulated. Results indicate that although overall income for female applicants was less than male applicants in some conditions, male applicants were penalized and evaluated more harshly than female applicants when they had experienced periods of unemployment. Specifically, male applicants with employment gaps were seen as less committed and as less hirable than their female counterparts. Overall, male applicants were less likely to be recommended for an interview, and, when they experienced multiple gaps, they were less likely to be recommended for further consideration.


employment gaps stereotypes gender human resources discrimination unemployment hiring decisions. 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • faye l. smith
    • 1
  • Filiz Tabak
    • 2
  • Sammy Showail
    • 3
  • Judi McLean Parks
    • 3
  • Janean S. Kleist
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Business, Emporia State UniversityEmporia
  2. 2.College of Business and Economics, Towson UniversityTowson
  3. 3.John M. Olin School of Business, Washington UniversitySt. Louis
  4. 4.Medtronic, Inc.Minneapolis

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