履歷中的較高社會階級背景對男性有益,但對女性無益

On Résumés, an Upper-Class Background Benefits Men but Not Women
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勞工階級的人獲得面試的機率最低。

研究顯示,頂級公司在招募時,可能會偏向出身富裕家庭的求職者。但出人意料的是,新的研究顯示,出身高社會階級只對男性有幫助。研究人員將虛構的履歷發送到美國147家頂級律師事務所的316個辦公室,分別位在14個城市。四名不同的「求職者」的應徵條件都相同,性別差異是由名字來辨識。關於求職者家境的資訊,則由他們選擇的課外活動來透露。

家境較差的履歷,會列出求職者獲得學生運動員獎學金,或曾擔任父母沒有大學文憑的同儕學生的家教。他們的運動和嗜好進入門檻相對較低,像是免會員費的足球活動或田徑,而社會階級較高家庭出身的求職者,會從事傳統上較屬於較高階級的活動,如馬球、帆船、古典音樂。即使四份履歷都呈現相同的教育和工作經歷,但雇主仍極為偏好看似出身較高階級的候選人。

他獲得面試邀請的比率,是其他求職者的四倍以上,亦即他的面試邀請數量,超過其他所有求職者的總和。研究人員想知道原因,尤其好奇為什麼出身較高階級的背景,對女性似乎有反效果。他們調查了來自美國各地的210位律師,另外又訪談了20位律師,結果顯示,出身較低社會階級的求職者,無論男女,都被認為不「適合」知名律師事務所。

出身較高社會階級的女性,被認為有容易中途離職的風險。人們認為她們會「選擇放棄」要求嚴苛的法律工作,成為「直升機媽媽」。若要避免做出有偏見的聘雇決定,公司可以稍微更改收到的履歷,像是隱藏求職者的名字,完全刪去課外活動和興趣愛好的部分。偏見很難克服,但做一些小改變,可以產生很大的影響。

(劉純佑譯)


Studies have shown that hiring in top firms can be skewed towards applicants from wealthy families. But in a surprising twist, new research shows that high social class is only helpful to men. The researchers sent fictitious resumes to 316 offices of 147 top law firms in 14 U.S. cities. All four different “applicants” were equally qualified, with gender differences only signaled by their first names. The wealth of an applicant's family was indicated through their choice of extracurricular activities.

Lower-income resumes would list an award for student-athletes on financial aid, or being a peer tutor for fellow first-generation college students. Their sports and hobbies would have a relatively low barrier to entry such as pick-up soccer or track and field, while higher-class candidates would pursue more traditionally upper-class activities such as Polo, sailing, and classical music. Even though all four resumes showed identical educational and work-related histories, employers showed overwhelming preference for the candidate who appeared to be a higher-class man.

His callback rate was more than four times that of any other applicant, which amounts to more invitations to interview than all the others combined. The researchers wanted to know why, and were especially curious why having a higher-class background seemed to backfire for women. They surveyed 210 attorneys from around the United States, and interviewed 20 more, revealing that lower-class candidates of both genders weren't seen as a “good fit” for prestigious law firms.

Higher-class women were seen as a flight risk. The perception was that they'd “opt out” of a demanding law job to become a “helicopter mom.” To avoid making biased hiring decisions, firms can make small changes to the resumes they collect, like hiding applicants' first names and losing the extracurricular activities and hobbies section altogether. Bias is hard to overcome, but small changes can have a big impact.



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