The Impact of Unconscious Bias on Women in Hiring and Promotions


Unconscious bias is a psychological occurrence that can lead to discriminatory behaviour. It is prevalent in the workplace and can affect women’s chances of being hired or promoted. This blog will examine how unconscious bias affects recruitment and promotion procedures, as well as its connection to the gender wage gap.

Impacts of Unconscious Bias on Women in Hiring and Promotions

Limited Opportunities

Women’s chances for employment and advancement can be restricted by unconscious prejudices. Studies indicate that hiring managers often base their decisions on their own biases instead of objective factors such as abilities and credentials. Consequently, women may not be considered for jobs or promotions that they are qualified for, limiting their career prospects. According to a report by McKinsey, women with equivalent qualifications are less likely to be selected for entry-level roles compared to men.

Devaluation of Skills and Experience

The unconscious bias that people hold can lead to the devaluation of women’s skills and experience. Studies show that women’s contributions are often undervalued in the workplace, leading to lower salaries and fewer opportunities for career advancement. This can contribute to a pay gap between men and women, where women earn less than men for equivalent work. According to Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency, on average, women earn only 87 cents for every dollar earned by men.

Stereotyping and Prejudice

Unconscious bias can lead to stereotyping, which can result in prejudice against women. Women are often perceived as less competent than men, particularly in male-dominated fields. This can result in women being excluded from certain jobs or industries, limiting their opportunities for career growth. In one study by the International Labour Organization on gender discrimination in hiring practices, researchers found that female job candidates who demonstrated confidence and assertiveness were seen as less likable than their male counterparts.

Correlation to the Gender Pay Gap

The impacts of unconscious bias on women in hiring and promotions contribute to the gender pay gap. When women are overlooked for promotions or offered lower salaries based on personal biases, they are at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiating for higher pay. The gender pay gap affects women of all ages, races, and education levels. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the gender pay gap is widest for women of colour in the US, with Black women earning only 63 cents and Latina women earning only 55 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. Australia doesn’t post statistical difference of the gender pay gap for women of colour however a similar statistic is to be expected.


Unconscious bias is a major problem that hinders women’s careers. It results in restricted job opportunities, undervaluation of their skills and experience, as well as stereotyping and prejudice towards them. These negative effects are among the factors that contribute to the gender pay gap, a persistent issue affecting women of different ages, races and educational backgrounds. By tackling unconscious bias in the workplace through training programs and policies that encourage diversity and inclusivity, we can establish a more just and equitable work environment for everyone.