Gender Stereotypes Persist
It is perhaps not surprising that studies carried out in the 1980s and 1990s found managers preferring men over equally qualified and experienced women for managerial and leadership positions and that this preference was based on stereotypical assumptions about gender: centrally, that “masculine” traits were critical to professional success and possessed only by men. It is also not surprising that things have changed since the 1980s and 1990s, most notably the law. Australia has quite far-reaching laws that make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, age, disability or gender. Translating that legislation into meaningful change has proven an altogether trickier task. Indeed, gender discrimination is still prevalent, despite increasing numbers of employers actively seeking to address the issue. With a complex network of employers, recruitment professionals, advertisers, employees and job applicants operating across a range of sectors and roles, the chances of finding one surefire way to combat discrimination at the recruitment stage are pretty slim.