The job search聽can be聽rough. Whether you鈥檙e trying to figure out how to land your first job or you鈥檙e trying to decide whether or not to聽accept a job offer you don鈥檛 want, there are a ton of聽moving parts to consider and a聽lot聽of stress that comes with them. And if you鈥檙e a woman, a new study says there might be an extra聽factor complicating things. You guessed it: sexism.


Researchers at Harvard wanted to figure out 鈥渨hat happens when you change the status quo among finalists for a job position.鈥 So they set up a series of tests in which participants (200 undergraduate students) were asked to evaluate the credentials of four applicants for the same job. In one test, the job was nurse manager, a job some might stereotypically associate with women. All the applicants for the job had the same qualifications and experience levels聽鈥 the only difference was their gender.

What they found was pretty disheartening. When the hiring pool consisted of three women and one man, the likelihood that the participants would hire a woman was 67 percent. When there were two women and two men, the odds shifted to 50 percent 鈥 that seems fair. But when there was one woman and three men up for the job? The likelihood that the woman would be hired was ZERO PERCENT. You read that right.

鈥淲hy does being the only woman in a pool of finalists matter?鈥 the researchers write. 鈥淔or one thing, it highlights how different she is from the norm. And deviating from the norm can be risky for decision makers, as people tend to ostracize people who are different from the group.鈥

Ugh. Just another confirmation that we鈥檝e got a lot of work to do.

Have you ever felt discriminated in the job hunt? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo!聽

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