Australian 'gender blind' recruitment trial backfires

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username521617
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http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-3...-study/8664888

Article with more details: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/nati...29-gx1pqg.html

In an attempt to increase workplace diversity, the Australian public service implemented a new recruitment technique as part of a major attempt to increase the number of women reaching top positions.

The trial involved removing all mention of gender and ethnicity from applications. It was believed this would increase the number of women advancing through the recruitment process as it was assumed sexism was a barrier to female applicants.

But the trial had the opposite effect. It was found that removing gender from thousands of applications made women less likely to advance through the recruitment process compared to cases where gender was visible.

The trial found that males were 3.2% less likely to get job interviews, and adding a woman's name to an application made the candidate 2.9% more likely to get their foot in the door.

Leaders have now been told to "hit pause" on the trials. The researchers were "shocked" and are urging caution on any further implementation.

It would appear that meritocracy is more sexist than we thought.
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Doones
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(Original post by Dandaman1)
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-3...-study/8664888

In an attempt to increase workplace diversity, the Australian public service implemented a new recruitment technique as part of a major attempt to increase the number of women reaching top positions.

The trial involved removing all mention of gender and ethnicity from applications. It was believed this would increase the number of women advancing through the recruitment process as it was assumed sexism was a barrier to female applicants.

But the trial had the opposite effect. It was found that removing gender from thousands of applications made women less likely to advance through the recruitment process compared to cases where gender was visible.

The trial found that males were 3.2% less likely to get job interviews, and adding a woman's name to an application made the candidate 2.9% more likely to get their foot in the door.

Leaders have now been told to "hit pause" on the trials. The researchers were "shocked" and are urging caution on any further implementation.

It would appear that meritocracy is more sexist than we thought.
3.2% ? Hardly a huge finding, is that even statistically significant given the sample size. Seems like more analysis is needed.

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Dodgypirate
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Sargon posted a video about this not too long ago.

Laughable.
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math42
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Lol I saw this. The fact that there is an urge to halt it speaks volumes about their intentions; they care only about diversity, not meritocracy.
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username521617
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
3.2% ? Hardly a huge finding, is that even statistically significant given the sample size. Seems like more analysis is needed.

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It's more the fact that it had zero effect and didn't do what they thought it would. They wanted to substantially increase the number of women advancing, not decrease.

It would seem to challenge their hypothesis regardless, and it's not surprising they stopped when they realised what was happening.
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Doones
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(Original post by Mathemagicien)
Meritocracy would mean that women are equally represented along with men, at 50:50.

This survey doesn't prove anything, except that ABC is a right-wing organisation and perhaps that the study itself was biased.
It's an Australian government study, nothing to do with ABC.
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BigYoSpeck
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
3.2% ? Hardly a huge finding, is that even statistically significant given the sample size. Seems like more analysis is needed.

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If I'm understanding it correctly there is actually over 6% swing. 3.2% is how much less chance a male name has of getting an interview over a neutral application and then a female name gives a 2.9% better chance over a neutral application. So the bias is evidently against males in an attempt to force equality of outcome.

(Original post by Mathemagicien)
If it isn't diverse, then it isn't meritocratic. Meritocracy would be 50% female representation.
Are you being ironic or do you just not understand the word merit?

Having equal opportunity and an entirely merit-based system in no way guarantees an exactly 50% split. Depending on the situation it could go one way or the other. But a perfect 50% divide would only happen by forcing equality of outcome, which isn't based on merit.

This entire experiment was conducted on the hypothesis it would achieve a more equal outcome and ended up not doing, it failed to prove the hypothesis.
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Doones
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(Original post by BigYoSpeck)
If I'm understanding it correctly there is actually over 6% swing. 3.2% is how much less chance a male name has of getting an interview over a neutral application and then a female name gives a 2.9% better chance over a neutral application. So the bias is evidently against males in an attempt to force equality of outcome.
Yup - agreed.
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username1799249
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(Original post by Dandaman1)
The researchers were "shocked" and are urging caution on any further implementation
Shocked? Really? I thought it was fair well known that women don't sell themselves as aggressively as men. This doesn't surprise me at all.
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shadowdweller
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It seems a little lacking in any kind of detail; from what I could see, it doesn't say how many CVs were included in the trial, nor the ratio of males and females, not to mention that it doesn't discuss the job they're applying for.

I would imagine it's a difficult area to actually determine the cause for, however. If you strip the gender from two CVs that doesn't necessarily mean they'd have anywhere near the same chance of employment if they're not of the same quality, or even if different people were to be reading them.
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BigYoSpeck
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(Original post by shadowdweller)
It seems a little lacking in any kind of detail; from what I could see, it doesn't say how many CVs were included in the trial, nor the ratio of males and females, not to mention that it doesn't discuss the job they're applying for.

I would imagine it's a difficult area to actually determine the cause for, however. If you strip the gender from two CVs that doesn't necessarily mean they'd have anywhere near the same chance of employment if they're not of the same quality, or even if different people were to be reading them.
The fact is though you're right, contrary to many popular beliefs with a random selection you wouldn't expect an exact 50/50 split success rate.

But the hypothesis here was that the gender inequality of hiring was due to bias, and the experiment was proposed as even though they wouldn't expect it to suddenly produce a 50/50 split they were expecting it to increase the percentage of successful female applications. When gender information was removed, and the applications were being judged on merit alone it was found that rather than increase successful female applications it had the entirely opposite effect to a fairly significant percentage. And say what you want about 6% not sounding that much, but in an experiment like this, that's significant.

What the result doesn't tell us is that men are superior, that would be grossly misinterpreting the data. There are too many other variables that mean you don't have a sufficient enough sample size to make a statement like that.

The interesting thing is the bias present in the people judging the applicants. It was thought that their bias was in favour of men, but it would seem the opposite was true and that without the gender identity of the applicants being removed, there was a subtle bias in favour of women.
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(Original post by Foo.mp3)
Speak for yourself, fam. Women relatively lack stable leadership qualities (see behavioural psychology and higher-tier IQ distributions FYR)
Firstly, behavioural psychology would not support that.
Secondly, find me a study which relates "higher tier IQ distributions" directly to leadership quality? You don't have to be a genius to be a good leader. In fact you tend to find that those with IQs on the extreme end of the scale are more likely to lack leadership qualities.
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Twinpeaks
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Sounds like an interesting study, I'll have to read this later.


As a complete side note, a lot of you guys insult Psychology as having no value as a science. Yet here we are, discussing such research as if it's concrete evidence.

Interesting isn't it :holmes:
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Twinpeaks
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Shocked? Really? I thought it was fair well known that women don't sell themselves as aggressively as men. This doesn't surprise me at all.
Yeah that was the first thing that entered my head too.
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username2228735
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Privilege points for everyone!
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Meany Pie
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(Original post by Bornblue)
Ah another thread on here full of people moaning about feminism.

How original.
You are the first person to even mention feminism.

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BigYoSpeck
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(Original post by Bornblue)
Ah another thread on here full of people moaning about feminism.

How original.
As Meany Pie said, you're the first person to bring up feminism.

The hypothesis of this trial has nothing to do with true feminism. True feminists fought for equal opportunities such as being able to apply for the position in the first place, for their application to be given fair consideration without bias, and to receive equal pay for equal work.

Equality of outcome has its roots in Marxism and it is a ridiculous notion regardless of what identity people are being distilled down to.
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Twinpeaks
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(Original post by Foo.mp3)
How so?

No thanks. Most reasonable people accept that the best leaders are of above-average IQ. Accept the proposition or don't, your belligerence/blinkers are of no consequence to me

Agreed, but somewhat besides the point (you're drawing a false dichotemy, which is disingenuous)

Actually no. You do not need to score an IQ high enough to be considered on the "extreme" I.e genius end of the scale, in order to be a good leader. That's complete and utter rubbish that you have fabricated from your brain, and justified using your over-inflated ego.

Yes it's a plausible that leaders require an above average IQ. But the gender differences do not apply to merely "above average IQs", so that point is completely irrelevant. What you are talking about, is the extreme end of the IQ scale.
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Doones
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Enjoy Twinpeaks Foo.mp3

http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~jcampbe...PresIQ2006.pdf
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Guru Jason
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(Original post by Mathemagicien)
Meritocracy would mean that women are equally represented along with men, at 50:50.

This survey doesn't prove anything, except that ABC is a right-wing organisation and perhaps that the study itself was biased.
Umm that's not true at all. Meritocracy is best person regardless of gender. Aiming for a 50 50 balance is judging people on other things than their 'merits'.
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