Employers prefer male candidates with leadership potential over female applicants with proven leadership track records, finds a new research.
"The findings have implications for gender equality in the workplace and provide initial evidence that women's leadership potential is not recognized by potential employers. This is a significant barrier to career progression and success for women," said one of the researchers Abigail Player from the the University of Kent
For the study, the researchers recruited 98 participants (39 women) in an online hiring simulation.
Each participant was shown four potential applicants for a managerial role with roughly the same age.
The applications differed by varying the applicant's gender and assessments of leadership potential and leadership achievement. Participants evaluated each applicant for how successful they thought each would be in their career and which had the most impressive curriculum vitae (CV).
Male applicants with leadership potential were most likely to be seen as successful and having the most impressive CV.
While men with leadership potential were rated higher than men with leadership performance, female applicants with potential were not rated higher than those with performance.
The study was presented at the Annual Conference of the British Psychology Society in Liverpool.