The hiring process--from recruiting to resume screening—contains conscious and unconscious biases which affect opportunities for underrepresented candidates.
Recruitment: Top tech companies most often hire alumni from top-ranking universities, including Stanford and Berkeley, limiting geographic, racial, and economic diversity in the recruitment pool.
Resume Review: Bias in resume reviews result in candidates with ethnic-sounding names and female candidates being rated less positively, receiving fewer call-backs, and being less likely to advance to the interview round.
Interviewing: Candidates with accents, women, and working mothers are all rated less favorably than their peers in competence and hiring recommendations.
Subjective assessments of “cultural fit,” including similar leisure activities and experiences between interviewees and candidates, often outweigh assessments of skill.
Resumes with African-American sounding names receive 50% fewer call-backs than resumes with White sounding names.
Social Capital and Social Networks
Social networks contain valuable resources of knowledge and influence, yet networks are highly segregated by race and gender.
Peer networks are highly segregated by race, which limits informal knowledge-sharing about job opportunities, referrals, and recommendations across racial groups.
In workplaces where men are the majority, their personal and professional networks are even more segregated, affecting recruitment, hiring, and promotion.
Family networks also have social capital, and students are more likely to pursue STEM careers if their parents are STEM professionals, with both formal and informal knowledge passed between family members.
Professionals within the tech sector have access to social capital and networks that those outside do not have, and since the tech sector lacks racial and gender diversity, it replicates a cycle and pattern of disparity.
Source: Public Religion Research Institute (2016), graphic courtesy of the Washington Post.75% of whites don’t have any non-white friends in their social network.
Bias in Advancement Opportunities
Biases can affect the assessment of performance and promotion opportunities for professionals from underrepresented backgrounds.
Performance Evaluations: Performance ratings are higher when there is a match between the race and gender of managers and employees, disadvantaging women and people of color in tech. Despite equal performance, women and people of color receive less compensation
Promotion: Women and underrepresented people of color are rated lower on promotion potential than White males. Women receive less challenging assignments and have less access to senior leaders. Women of color face the most substantial barriers and are more likely to experience being passed over for promotion than any other group.
Leadership: Majority-group members (White, male professionals) are rated as having higher leadership skills than underrepresented professionals, and companies with male-dominated leadership are less likely to promote women to leadership positions.
Stereotype threat: The risk and fear of confirming a negative stereotype about one’s group.
External stressors and work-life balance
Women and people of color are more likely to face significant economic, family, and environmental stressors outside of the workplace, which can impact engagement and retention in the workplace.
Women are more likely to be single parents and caregivers for elderly parents than men, creating unique constraints by gender.
Compared to equally-qualified men with children and women without children, working mothers are less likely to be rated as competent and less likely to be perceived as committed to work. They are also less likely to be interviewed, hired, promoted, and paid equally.
People of color are more likely to graduate college with higher amounts of debt, have less savings, and much lower generational and family wealth to rely upon, increasing economic stress and affecting professional retention and turnover decisions.
Environmental stressors, including racial discrimination, victimization, poverty, health disparities, and police violence, also disproportionately affect communities of color outside of the workplace.