Job searching is a tough process. You have to gather all the hard and soft skills to be a perfect match for potential employers. However, the studies show a different kind of obstacle when applying for a job – an applicant’s gender. Is it true that women are less likely to land an interview and that men are more successful despite being less professional?
Let’s find out and disprove some false theories!
Fact #1. In almost 30% of cases, women are less likely to be considered for a hiring process
First of all, gender bias is higher for applications with lower qualifications; less work experience and no additional knowledge matter as well. Resume-scanning software doesn’t see any difference in documents submitted by men or women; therefore, at this stage, candidates are likely to pass if they qualify for a position.
In a study called “Are women less likely to get hired?” researchers analyzed the fictitious resumes for 1,372 real job offers in Barcelona and Madrid. Under equal conditions, the Human Resources Team called women for interviews in fewer proportions (7.7%) than men (10.9%).
The obvious reason is potential motherhood. An expanded look at the women’s profiles shows prejudice towards women without children (as they can request a maternity leave afterward) alongside the existing mothers (who face a double “penalty” – womanhood and motherhood).
Nevertheless, women who don’t have kids but provide professional resume, have a strong experience in supervisory tasks, and have additional language knowledge, have lower chances of discrimination from the recruiter’s side.
Fact #2. Women apply for a job only if they’re 100% qualified.
You might have heard that men apply for a job when they meet 60% of the qualifications, while women dare to submit the papers when they’re 100% equipped with the hard skills. Is that true?
The finding was quoted in dozens of articles and first concluded in Hewlett Packard’s internal report. If going through different job applications and trying to see candidates for the position of a hiring manager, you’ll notice men are more confident about their accomplishments; they can be less qualified, but they compensate for lack of knowledge with motivation and a sense of leadership.
The list of top interview questions includes the standard “Tell me about yourself” alongside describing your strengths and weaknesses. Women often feel underestimated in professional terms, so they would forget to highlight the strong sides in a resume, which makes HR curious if they can fit for a position. Women are also confused trying to ask somebody for a reference, but again – it’s not common knowledge, and there are plenty of women with solid self-confidence.
As the study shows, men and women are likely to miss a job application process because they doubt the company will hire them for being less qualified. To put it differently, people don’t want to waste time and energy on the test; they think they would fail. The responses like this one show that many applicants think qualifications are only needed to get hired, not to do the job well.
Summarizing the above-said points, the mistaken perception about a hiring process is the main reason which holds back from applying. In this case, women need to work on their self-confidence and trace their steps when reviewing an application. Can’t you just learn the additional skills during a hands-on experience? Also, if you were not good enough for the position, you wouldn’t consider it in the first place.
Fact #3. Women choose fewer jobs to apply for, but they are more likely to get hired
Here’s something positive to cheer you up – women don’t consider lots of job offers because they are more determined and professionally ambitious. If looking at the LinkedIn statistics, women apply to 20% fewer jobs than men; however, they are 16% more likely to get hired.
Let’s see the main reasons women fail to apply:
- The need for relocation – if the office is in the other city, and the company requires to move, women would think twice about considering it;
- Multi-step hiring process – if women are asked to do an interview, then a test assignment, then a few more interviews to define soft skills, they will probably find it a waste of time;
- Low compensation, but a promise of career growth – if a woman lives alone and has enough motivation, she’ll go for it; however, if a woman has a family she needs to take care of, she won’t consider the position, no matter how great it is.
These and many more reasons show women are self-aware personalities, caring for themselves and thinking about their future. So, maybe it’s not women who have fewer chances to get hired but companies that receive fewer job applications. Women are simply more decisive and wise when submitting a resume.
There is still unconscious bias about hiring men rather than women: no need to think you can change it in one day. The best way to address those issues is to be great at what you do and to get rid of fear when submitting a job application.
Many women think they won’t be considered, but why? Do they ever ask themselves if their gender matters? Unless there’s nothing in the job description saying “man only,” you are welcome to apply; and the recruiter will take care of the rest!