Sex Roles

, Volume 41, Issue 7–8, pp 509–528 | Cite as

The Impact of Gender on the Review of the Curricula Vitae of Job Applicants and Tenure Candidates: A National Empirical Study

  • Rhea E. Steinpreis
  • Katie A. Anders
  • Dawn Ritzke


The purpose of this study was to determine someof the factors that influence outside reviewers andsearch committee members when they are reviewingcurricula vitae, particularly with respect to the gender of the name on the vitae. The participants inthis study were 238 male and female academicpsychologists who listed a university address in the1997 Directory of the American PsychologicalAssociation. They were each sent one of four versions of acurriculum vitae (i.e., female job applicant, male jobapplicant, female tenure candidate, and male tenurecandidate), along with a questionnaire and aself-addressed stamped envelope. All the curricula vitaeactually came from a real-life scientist at twodifferent stages in her career, but the names werechanged to traditional male and female names. Althoughan exclusively between-groups design was used to avoidsparking genderconscious responding, the resultsindicate that the participants were clearly able todistinguish between the qualifications of the jobapplicants versus the tenure candidates, as evidenced bysuggesting higher starting salaries, increasedlikelihood of offering the tenure candidates a job,granting them tenure, and greater respect for theirteaching, research, and service records. Both men andwomen were more likely to vote to hire a male jobapplicant than a female job applicant with an identicalrecord. Similarly, both sexes reported that the male job applicant had done adequate teaching,research, and service experience compared to the femalejob applicant with an identical record. In contrast,when men and women examined the highly competitive curriculum vitae of the real-life scientist whohad gotten early tenure, they were equally likely totenure the male and female tenure candidates and therewas no difference in their ratings of their teaching, research, and service experience. There was nosignificant main effect for the quality of theinstitution or professional rank on selectivity inhiring and tenuring decisions. The results of this study indicate a gender bias for both men and womenin preference for male job applicants.


Empirical Study Social Psychology Committee Member Gender Bias Service Experience 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alper, J. (1993). The pipeline is leaking women all the way along. Science, 260, 409–411.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychological Association. (1997). Directory of the American Psycho logical Association. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  3. Applegate, W. B., & Williams, M. E. (1990). Career development in academic medicine. American Journal of Medicine, 88, 263–267.Google Scholar
  4. Black, M. M., & Holden, E. W. (1998). The impact of gender on productivity and satisfaction among medical school psychologists. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 5, 117–131.Google Scholar
  5. Branscombe, N. R., & Smith, E. R. (1990). Gender and racial stereotypes in impression formation and social decision-making processes. Sex Roles, 22, 627–647.Google Scholar
  6. Carli, L. L. (1989). Gender differences in interaction style and influence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 565–576.Google Scholar
  7. Carli, L. L. (1990). Gender, language, and influence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 941–951.Google Scholar
  8. Clance, P. R. (1985). The Imposter Phenomenon:When Success Makes You Feel Like A Fake. New York: Bantom Books.Google Scholar
  9. Cole, S., Cole, J. R. & Simon, G. A. (1981). Chance and consensus in peer review. Science, 214, 881–886.Google Scholar
  10. Costrich, N., Feinstein, J., Kidder, L., Maracek, J., & Pascale, L. (1975). When stereotypes hurt: Three studies of penalties for sex-role reversals. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 11, 520–530.Google Scholar
  11. Dreher, G. F., & Ash, R. A. (1990). A comparative study of mentoring among men and women in managerial, professional, and technical positions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75, 539–546.Google Scholar
  12. Eagly, A. H., & Karau, S. J. (1991). Gender and the emergence of leaders: A meta-analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 685–710.Google Scholar
  13. Ernst, E., Resch, K. L., & Uher, E. M. (1992). Reviewer Bias. Annals of Internal Medicine, 116, 958.Google Scholar
  14. Fagenson, E. A. (1989). The mentor advantage: Perceive d career/job experience s of proteges vs. non-proteges. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 10, 309–320.Google Scholar
  15. Fidell, L. S. (1970). Empirical verification of sex discrimination in hiring practices in psychology. American Psychologist, 25, 1094–1098.Google Scholar
  16. Gallois, C., Callan, V.J., & Palmer, J. A. M. (1993). The influence of applicant communication style and interviewer characteristics on hiring decisions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 22, 1041–1060.Google Scholar
  17. Hallock, P. (1994). Promoting diversity on campus: Thought to action. Thought and Action, X, 65–78.Google Scholar
  18. Herbold, H. (1995). Women who leave: Why women professors are cutting their ties to academia. The Monthly Forum On Women In Higher Education, 25–29.Google Scholar
  19. Ibarra, H. (1993). Personal networks of women and minorities in management: A conceptual framework. Academy of Management Review, 18, 56–87.Google Scholar
  20. Janoff-Bulman, R., & Wade, M. B. (1996). The dilemma of se lf-advocacy for women: Another case of blaming the victim? Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 15(2), 143–152.Google Scholar
  21. Kasof, J. (1993). Sex bias in the name of stimulus persons. Psychological Bulletin, 113, 140–163.Google Scholar
  22. Linehan, M. M., & Seifert, R. F. (1983). Sex and contextual differences in the appropriateness of assertive behavior. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 8, 79–88.Google Scholar
  23. Liss, L. (1975). Why academic women do not revolt: Implications for affirmative action. Sex Roles, 1, 209–230.Google Scholar
  24. McNevin, S.H., Leichner, P., Harper, D., & McCrimmon, E. (1985). Sex role ideology among health care professionals. Psychiatric Journal of the University of Ottawa, 10, 21–23.Google Scholar
  25. Morrison, A. M., & Von Glinow, M. A. (1990). Women and minorities in management. American Psychologist, 45, 200–208.Google Scholar
  26. National Research Council (1995). Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States: Continuity and Change, pp. 371–377.Google Scholar
  27. Ng, C. F. (1997). Recruitment practices and job search for academic positions in psychology. Canadian Psycho logy, 38, 25–42.Google Scholar
  28. Northcraft, G. B., & Gutek, B. A. (1993). Point-counterpoint: Discrimination against women—Going, going, gone or going but never gone? In E. A. Fagenson (Ed.), Women In Management: Trends, issues and challenges in managerial diversity (pp. 219–245). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  29. Ohlott, P. J., Ruderman, M. N., & McCauley, C. D. (1994). Gender differences in managers' developmental job experiences. Academy of Management Journal, 37, 46–67.Google Scholar
  30. O'Leary, V. E., & Wallston, B. S. (1982). Women, gender, and social psychology. Review of Personality and Social Psychology, 2, 9–43.Google Scholar
  31. Ozawa, K., Crosby, M., & Crosby, F. (1996). Individuals and resistance to affirmative action: A comparison of Japanese and American samples. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 26, 1138–1152.Google Scholar
  32. Parker, C. P., Baltes, B. B., & Christiansen, N. D. (1997). Support for affirmative action, justice perceptions, and work attitudes: A study of gender and racial-ethnic group differences. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82, 376–389.Google Scholar
  33. Ragins, B. R. (1999). Where do we go from here, and how do we get there? Methodological issues in conducting research on diversity and mentoring relationships. In A. J., Murrell, F. J. Crosby & R. J. Ely (Eds). Mentoring Dilemmas: Developmental Relationships Within Multicultural Organizations (pp. 227–246). Mahwah, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  34. Ragins, B. R., & Cotton, J. L. (1991). Easier said than done: Gender differences in perceived barriers to gaining a mentor. Academy of Management Journal, 34, 939–951.Google Scholar
  35. Ragins, B. R. & McFarlin, D. (1990). Perception of mentor roles in cross-gender mentoring relationships. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 37, 321–339.Google Scholar
  36. Ragins, B. R., Townsend, B. & Mattis, M. (1998). Gender gap in the executive suite: CEOs and female executives report on breaking the glass ceiling. Academy of Management Executive, 12, 28–42.Google Scholar
  37. Ridgeway, C. L. (1982). Status in groups: The importance of motivation. American Sociological Review, 47, 175–188.Google Scholar
  38. Ridgeway, C. L., & Diekema, D. (1992). In C. L. Ridgeway (Ed.), Gender, interaction, and inequty (pp. 157–180). New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  39. Rothblum, E. D. (1988). Leaving the ivory tower: Factors contributing to women's voluntary resignation from academia. Frontiers, 2, 14–17.Google Scholar
  40. Rudman, L. A. (1995). To be or not to be (self-promoting): Motivational influences on gender stereotyping. Poster presented at the 7th Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Society, New York.Google Scholar
  41. Scandura, T. A. (1992). Mentorship and career mobility: An empirical investigation. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 13, 169–174.Google Scholar
  42. Sheehan, E. P., McDe vitt, T. M., & Ross, H. C. (1998). Looking for a job as a psychology professor? Factors affecting applicant success. Teaching of Psychology, 25, 8–11.Google Scholar
  43. Sonnert, G., & Holton,G. (1996). Career patterns of women and men in the sciences. American Scientist, 84, 63.Google Scholar
  44. Tesch, B. J., Wood, H. M., Helwig, A. L., & Nattinger, A. B. (1995). Promotion of women physicians in academic medicine: Glass ceiling or sticky floor? Journal of the American Medical Association, 273(13), 1022–1025.Google Scholar
  45. Turban, D. B., & Dougherty, T.W. (1994). Role of proteégeé personality in receipt of mentoring and career success. Academy of Management Journal, 37, 688–702.Google Scholar
  46. Valian, V. (1998). Why so slow? The advancement of women. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  47. Wenneras, C., & Wold, A. (1997). Nepotism and sexism in peer-review. Nature, 387, 341–343.Google Scholar
  48. Widom, C. S., & Burke, B. W. (1978). Performance, attitudes, and professional socialization of women in academia. Sex Roles, 4, 549–562.Google Scholar
  49. Wiley, M. G., & Eskilson, A. (1985). Speech style, gender stereotypes, and corporate success: What if women talk more like men? Sex Roles, 12, 993–1006.Google Scholar
  50. Willis, F. N., & Diebold, C. T. (1997). Producing mentors in psychology. Teaching of Psychology, 24, 15–21.Google Scholar
  51. Wunder, G. C., & Wynn, G. W. (1988). The effects of address personalization on mailed questionnaires response rate, time, and quality. Journal of the Market Research Society, 30, 95–101.Google Scholar
  52. Zebrowitz, L. A., Tenenbaum, D. R., & Goldstein, L. H. (1991). The impact of job applicant's facial maturity, gender, and academic achievement on hiring recommendations. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 21, 525–548.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rhea E. Steinpreis
  • Katie A. Anders
  • Dawn Ritzke

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations