Bias in the Hiring Process of Professional Salespeople: The Effects of Gender, Ethnicity, and Religion

  • Parker F. Griffin
  • Jill S. Attaway
  • Mitch GriffinEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science book series (DMSPAMS)


As the ethnic diversity in the USA increases, we fear that some people aren’t getting treated as well as others. While considerable research has examined the impact of applicant sex in the hiring process, far less has looked at other individual differences. This study investigates the impact of the gender, ethnicity, and religion on the evaluation of professional sales position applicants. Data was collected online with a snowball sampling approach. A total of 640 respondents who have been involved in the hiring process evaluated 1 of the 8 different surveys. The surveys were identical with the exception of the applicant name and ethnic/religious affiliation. These characteristics manipulated the independent variables. The results indicate ethnicity and religious affiliation create more bias in the hiring of salespeople than the sex of the applicant. With the current mood in the US executive branch, this is a real concern, and we fear the bias observed here will only grow.


Professional sales Ethnicity Gender bias Religion Hiring process 


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Parker F. Griffin
    • 1
  • Jill S. Attaway
    • 2
  • Mitch Griffin
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Delavan High SchoolDelavanUSA
  2. 2.Market Analysis & Solutions GroupDelavanUSA
  3. 3.Bradley UniversityPeoriaUSA

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