In an attempt to overcome gender-biased hiring, a vast majority of symphony orchestras in the US revised their hiring practices from the 1950s. Many orchestras opened up their hiring process to a range of candidates, rather than only hiring musicians who were handpicked by the conductor.
A number of orchestras adopted “blind” auditions whereby screens are used to conceal the identity and gender of the musician from the jury. In the years after these changes were instituted, the percent of female musicians in the five highest-ranked orchestras in the nation increased from 6 percent in 1970 to 21 percent in 1993.
Gender biases in hiring continue even today.
I recently attended a Women Entrepreneur conference. There was a lady, a successful venture capitalist that was delivering the keynote address. While talking about biases at the workplace, she related a story that stayed with me for many days.
In a previous job with a Fortune 500 company, the HR team conducted an experiment. They sent 2 CV’s for the same job description for a fitment check. The interesting part of the experiment was that the CV actually belonged to the same person…the name on 1 CV was male and on the other was female. The fitment results for the CV which had the male name was much higher than the CV that had the female name.
The biggest challenge is that most people are unaware of their biases. You cant really improve a condition you don’t even know exists.
Building Awareness of Unconscious Biases’ and making the Hiring process “Objective” and “Neutral” is key to promoting Gender Diversity !!!!!