Gender Bias in Recruiting

Developing a Social Practice Perspective




English, implicit bias, gender, recruitment, social practice, critical social psychology


Unconscious bias training has become a popular intervention for eliminating discrimination in the workplace. Particularly recruitment processes are said to become fairer and more objective if gender biases are eliminated through training of personnel. However, the concept of gender bias, and particularly the idea that it can be trained away, has also been critiqued as too limited in its focus on individual mental processes, thereby neglecting effects of context, interaction and power. Taking this critique as our starting point, we argue that gender bias needs to be theorised in relation to a specific interaction and normative context. Building on cognitive social psychology, critical social psychology and on gender as a social practice we show that gender bias is not only an individual, but a fundamentally social activity that is embedded within organisational norms and power relations and reproduced in interaction. By theorising gender bias as a social practice, we expand the concept of gender
bias beyond individual cognition. This perspective not only opens up the scope of explanation but is also a vital concept for exploring and combatting bias in recruiting.


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Nentwich, J., Baumgärtner, M. K., Chowdhury, N., & Witzig, V. (2021). Gender Bias in Recruiting: Developing a Social Practice Perspective. Kvinder, Køn &Amp; Forskning, 32(3), 11–24.