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Nearly half of women report gender bias, discrimination during hiring process

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About 42% of women surveyed said they’ve encountered gender-biased or inappropriate questions during a job interview, and 41% said they’ve felt discriminated against during a job interview due to gender, according to a March 26 report from The Muse and RecruitmentMarketing.com.

In addition, 38% said they’ve hesitated to apply for a job based on perceived gender bias.

“We have made some progress as a society, but there is significant room to grow with gender pay equity, inclusive leadership, female-friendly benefits and placing value on a woman’s voice in our workplaces,” Heather Tenuto, CEO of The Muse Group, said in a statement

In the survey of more than 1,000 female-identifying professionals, 67% said they think women in their industry have a hard time getting promoted. In addition, 87% said they don’t believe men and women receive the same reaction from managers when negotiating a salary increase.

More than half of women (55%) said they don’t believe there’s enough female representation among the leadership team at their organization, yet 79% said they’re more likely to seek out companies with equal representation in managerial and leadership positions.

Geographic disparities also exist. In the Southeast (including Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee), 74% of women said they faced discriminatory challenges — nearly twice the rate of other regions.

Seniority may play a role as well. As the seniority of the survey respondents increased, the likelihood of encountering biased or inappropriate questions during job interviews also increased. Among women in the C-suite, 55% said they’ve been asked inappropriate questions in an interview and 58% have felt discriminated against in an interview, as compared to approximately 41% of women overall for both issues.

Women of color face even greater barriers, with two-thirds of Black women saying they change their hair for job interviews, according to a report by Dove and LinkedIn. Although some states have passed laws prohibiting hair-based discrimination, Black women are more likely to be sent home from work, denied employment, be overlooked for promotions and face a variety of microaggressions for wearing their natural hair texture and hair styles.

About two-thirds of women don’t believe they’re being paid fairly for their work, according to a Glassdoor report, particularly in accounting, tech and consulting. In addition, 43% said there aren’t enough women in leadership at their organizations.

Even still, men and women express different views about gender-related gaps in pay and promotions that differ from workplace realities, according to a HiBob report. These perception gaps likely exist due to a lack of transparency or a disconnect in cultural communications, the report authors wrote.

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