Sex Roles

, Volume 57, Issue 7–8, pp 497–508 | Cite as

Effects of Applicant Pregnancy on Hiring Decisions and Interview Ratings

Original Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Employment interviews Pregnancy Hiring issues Discrimination 

References

  1. Armour, S. (February, 2005). Pregnant workers report growing discrimination. USA Today. Retrieved April 10, 2006, from http://www.usatoday.com/money/workplace/2005-02-16-pregnancy-bias-usat_x.htm.
  2. Cleveland, J. N., Stockdale, M., & Murphy, K. R. (2000). Women and Men in Organizations: Sex and Gender Issues at Work. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.Google Scholar
  3. Corse, S. J. (1990). Pregnant managers and their subordinates: The effects of gender expectations on hierarchical relationships. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 26, 24–47.Google Scholar
  4. DeNicolis Bragger, J., Kutcher, E., Morgan, J., & Firth, P. (2002). The effects of the structured interview on reducing biases against pregnant job applicants. Sex Roles, 46, 215–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dipboye, R. L. (1992). Selection Interviews: Process Perspectives. Cincinnati: South-Western Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  6. Eagly, A. H., & Karau, S. J. (2002). Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders. Psychological Review, 109, 573–598.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Faul, F., & Erdfedler, E. (1992). GPOWER: A priori, post-hoc, and compromise power analyses for MS-DOS (computer programme). Bonn, FRG: Bonn University, Dep. of Psychology. (http:// www. Psychologie.uni-trier.de:8000/projects/gpower.html).
  8. Franco, K., Evans, C. L., Best, A. P., Zrull, J. P., & Pizza, G. A. (1983). Conflicts associated with physicians’ pregnancies. American Journal of Psychiatry, 140, 902–904.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Gueutal, H. G., & Taylor, E. M. (1991). Employee pregnancy: The impact on organizations, pregnant employees and co-workers. Journal of Business and Psychology, 5, 459–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Halpert, J. A., & Hickman Burg, J. (1997). Mixed messages: Co-worker responses to the pregnant employee. Journal of Business and Psychology, 12, 241–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Halpert, J. A., Wilson, M. L., & Hickman, J. L. (1993). Pregnancy as a source of bias in performance appraisals. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 14, 649–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hammond, K. R. (1996). Human Judgment and Social Policy: Irreducible Uncertainty, Inevitable Error, Unavoidable Injustice. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hebl, M. R., & Kleck, R. E. (2002). Acknowledging one’s stigma in the interview setting: Effective strategy or liability? Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32, 223–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hebl, M. R., & Skorinko, J. L. (2005). Acknowledging one’s physical disability in the interview: Does “when” make a difference? Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35, 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Heilman, M. E. (1983). Sex bias in work settings: The lack of fit model. Research in Organizational Behavior, 5, 269–298.Google Scholar
  16. Hitt, E. R., & Barr, S. H. (1989). Managerical selection decision models: Examination of configural cue processing. Journal of Applied Psychology, 74, 53–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Huvelle, N. F., Budoff, M., & Arnholz, D. (1984). To tell or not to tell: Disability disclosure and the job interview. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 78, 241–244.Google Scholar
  18. Kacmar, K. M., Wayne, S. J., & Ratcliff, S. H. (1994). An examination of automatic versus controlled information processing in the employment interview: The case of minority applicants. Sex Roles, 30, 809–828.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kazama, S. M., & Hebl, M. R. (2003, April). Assessing pregnancy in hiring situations: The role of formal and interpersonal discrimination. Paper presented at 18th annual SIOP conference, Orlando, Fl.Google Scholar
  20. Klerman, J. A., & Leibowitz, A. (1999). Job continuity among new mothers. Demography, 36, 145–155.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Macan, T. H., Detjen, J. B., & Dickey, K. L. (1994). Measures of job perceptions: Gender and age of current incumbents, suitability, and job attributes. Sex Roles, 30, 55–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Macan, T. H., & Dipboye, R. L. (1990). The relationship of interviewers’ preinterview impressions to selection and recruitment outcomes. Personnel Psychology, 43, 745–768.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. O’Connel, M. (December, 2001). New census bureau analysis indicates women making longer-term commitments to workplace. U.S. Census Bureau News. Retrieved April 3, 2006, from http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/fertility/000319.html.
  24. Pregnancy discrimination. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Retrieved April 10, 2006, from http://www.eeoc.gov/types/pregnancy.html.
  25. Schmitt, N. (1976). Social and situational determinants of interview decisions: Implications for the employment interview. Personnel Psychology, 29, 79–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Slonaker, W. M., & Wendt, A. C. (1991). Pregnancy discrimination: An empirical analysis of a continuing problem. Labor Law Journal, 343–350 (June).Google Scholar
  27. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act 25 years later: Pregnancy discrimination persists. National Partnership for Women & Families. Retrieved April 10, 2006, from http://www.nationalpartnership.org/portals/p3/library/workplaceDiscrimination/Pregnancy25thAnnivFacts.pdf.
  28. Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1974). Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases. Science, 85, 1124–1131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Valian, V. (1998). Why so slow: The advancement of women. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press.Google Scholar
  30. Women at work: Look behind the numbers 40 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (July, 2004). National Partnership for Women & Families, 1–20.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Missouri-St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

Personalised recommendations