Looks like you ladies will have to keep a close eye on anybody you choose to write job recommendations for you in the future!
A new study shows that men are more likely to get faculty jobs than women, based largely on how they’re described in recommendation letters.
These letters more often identify women with “communal or “emotive” qualities, whereas men are more likely to be described with “agentive” words, which are more appealing to potential employers.
Here are some examples of words used to describe women, which aren’t landing them jobs:
“caring, sensitive, agreeable, warm”
And here are words more often used to describe men in recommendation letters:
“assertive, confident, ambitious, independent”
Here’s what Rice University professor of psychology Michelle Hebl had to say about the study:
“When you use communal terminology, it is linking people to a feminine type, and they are not seen as credible and they don’t get hired. It’s not just men doing this to women, and it’s not just women being hurt, but it hurts women more.”
Should be inneresting to see if more women get these faculty jobs after they learn about this study.
Even if you are truly caring and sensitive, it sounds like these companies would prefer ambitious and confident women working their buildings, ladies!
Keep a close eye on those letter writers, bbs! If someone is willing to take the time to write you a recommendation letter, we’re sure they wouldn’t mind throwing in some “agentive” words to describe you with!
What do U think of this study? Do U think it’s legit, or not so much?
[Image via WENN.]