Women have average 30% less chance to be cited for a job interview that men with the same characteristics, as follows from the study 'Do women have fewer opportunities to be hired?', published by the Social Observatory of "la Caixa" and presented on March 6 at the CaixaForum Madrid.
The report, carried out by María José González, Clara Cortina and Jorge Rodríguez-Menés – all of them from the Pompeu Fabra University -, emerges after an experimental investigation that has consisted of sending fictitious résumés of people between 37 and 39 years old to 1,372 offers of real work in Madrid and Barcelona. The curriculums responded to offers of 18 different jobs that varied in degree of feminization, required qualification and responsibility.
In general terms, of the total of resumes considered (more than 5,600, since a couple of equivalent CVs were sent for each vacancy offered, with the only difference being that, in one case, it was a female candidate and in the other , of a man), male candidates were cited for interviews in greater proportion (10.9%) than women (7.7%). All other things being equal, the probability of receiving the proposal of a job interview was 30% lower for women than for men.
The report also analyzes the possible differential effect of having children in men and women, as well as preparation for employment. For example, the study reveals that the probability of receiving a call for an interview was 23.5% lower for women without children than for men in identical circumstances.
However, the study notes that it is women with children who suffer the most discrimination in the labor hiring processes, since they face a double penalty: for their status as a woman and for their mother. Thus, a woman with offspring is 35.9% less likely to receive a call for a job interview than a man with the same characteristics.
Despite the gender differences, the authors point out that the discrimination of women does not disappear, but it does reduce when the candidates are better prepared for the position than what is requested in the offer. That is, the gender penalty is lower if, in addition to what is required, applicants have knowledge of an additional language and more work experience.
Less difference between women without qualified children
The authors conclude that gender biases in recruitment processes would be based on stereotypes about productivity, rather than prejudices.
Employers vary their responses when women have more competencies than similar candidates (such as languages, strong work experience or supervisory tasks). In fact, the data suggest a practical absence of discrimination in women without highly qualified children.
The report also mentions tdata showing inequality between women and men: the lowest employment rate of them (in 2017, 67.1% of women were working, compared to 79.2% of men), the greater presence of part-time contracts among women (24.1%) %, compared to 7.3% among men) and the lowest base salary among women (comparing equivalent jobs, their wage / hour is between 20 and 35% lower than that of men).
The study has been asked by the director of the Strategy, Prospective and Internal Communication Area of the 'la Caixa' Banking Foundation, Ignasi Calvera. The Social Observatory of 'la Caixa' is an initiative for the study of new social phenomena in four areas: social inclusion, education, science and culture.
The analysis of the Social Observatory of 'la Caixa' draws on a barometer of key indicators on issues of social interest in the member countries of the European Union and the OECD, as well as articles, interviews and reviews signed by experts.