Are Men Always Picked Over Women? The Effects of Employment Equity Directives on Selection Decisions

Journal of Business Ethics 76 (2):177-187 (2007)
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Abstract

This study replicates and extends previous work by Oppenheimer and Wiesner [1990, Sex discrimination: Who is hired and do employment equity statements make a difference? Proceedings of the 11th Annual Conference of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, Personnel and Human Resources Division], and examined the effects of minority qualifications on hiring decisions, the effects of employment equity directives when minority candidates are less qualified and the effects of different types and strengths of employment equity directives on hiring decisions. The results indicate that when employment equity is in place, people are increasingly more likely to hire underrepresented group members, to the extent that they are more qualified. Men appear to be treated in a positively biased manner, and are more likely to be hired when they are less qualified. Women are less likely to be hired when they are under-qualified, and in the absence of employment equity directives or when there is a suggestion that women are underrepresented. Moreover, when employment equity directives are strengthened, there appears to be a subtle backlash for women but not for men

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