EPL Coverage: Decreasing Workplace Bias
A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) indicates that biases can still exist in the hiring process when filling math and science positions. The study tested subjects in various scenarios to uncover a correlation between the lack of women in the math, science and technology fields and gender stereotypes.
Researchers placed a group of individuals in the role of a hiring authority seeking to fill positions; the result was that males were twice as likely to get picked for math and science fields. Furthermore when asked to rank their own mathematical abilities, women on average ranked their skills lower than their male counterparts. In another test, subjects were again asked to step into the role of hiring manager and reassess the candidates after observing their abilities to execute math and science tasks. The study found that 19.5% of the time the hiring personal still chose the underperforming employee, and of those underperformers chosen 64% were male. Their conclusion was that men who perform worse on math tests still get hired more often than better preforming women.
Many studies agree that discrimination during the hiring process does still exist. A group of researchers started Project Implicit, to help asses and educate people about their own biases and how those biases could be affecting their interactions in the world. Built as an educational tool, they developed the Implicit Assumption Test (IAT) which tests participants’ implicit social cognition in responses to certain words. The IAT has contributors categorize words which can reveal unintentional or unknown biases to the test-taker. They also offer some advice for overcoming biases or “implicit preferences” such as seeking different experiences and exposures, intercultural interaction and intercultural communication. Their research indicates that implicit preferences are malleable and can easily be changed.
While the Project Implicit founders adamantly advises against the use of this test as a means of assessing others, they do advise its use for personal development if a participant is willing to accept the assessment for what it is and acknowledges it limitations. Understanding diversity and limiting bias is essential to the hiring process and maintaining the best employee placing practices.
Actual or perceived biases can led to discrimination increasing a corporation’s exposure to danger. Employment practices liability coverage can help protect your clients’ agency against allegations of discrimination or unfair hiring practices.
At World Wide Specialties we can help keep your staffing agency clients protected. We offer full staffing agency coverage through our Staffing Agency General Liability and Specialized Employment Practices services specifically designed to protect your clients’ staffing firms against claims brought on by an applicant or employee. Contact us today at (877) 256-0468 to learn more about the policies we offer and how we can help your staffing agency clients.