Gender and Attractiveness Biases in Hiring Decisions: Are More Experienced Managers Less Biased

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The relationship of managerial experience to gender and attractiveness biases was examined in decisions involving suitability for hire and probable organizational progression within a typical financial institution. Each of 112 managers evaluated 4 equivalent résumé-data sheets, to which different candidate photographs were attached. The photographs were varied using a 2 X 2 (Gender X Attractiveness) design wherein each photograph depicted a woman or a man who was either highly attractive or slightly below average in attractiveness. For both ratings and rankings of candidates, clear evidence of attractiveness and gender biases were present. The extent of the bias was generally smaller for the most experienced managers, although less attractive female applicants were routinely at a disadvantage regardless of managerial experience.

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Journal of Applied Psychology, v. 81, issue 1, p. 11-21