New Publication in Frontiers in Psychology

Dutz, Hubner, Emmerling, & Peus: Sure you are ready? Gendered arguments in recruitment for high-status positions in male-dominated fields

We are happy to share that our article “Sure you are ready? Gendered arguments in recruitment for high-status positions in male-dominated fields” was published in Frontiers in Psychology.

Abstract: Recruitment contexts such as STEM professorships promote clearly defined selection criteria and objective assessment. We illuminate in these contexts, the subjective interpretation of seemingly objective criteria and gendered arguments in discussions of applicants. Additionally, we explore gender bias despite comparable applicant profiles investigating how specific success factors lead to selection recommendations for male and female applicants. Implementing a mixed methods approach, we aim to highlight the influence of heuristics, stereotyping, and signaling in applicant assessments. We interviewed 45 STEM professors. They answered qualitative open-ended interview questions, and evaluated hypothetical applicant profiles, qualitatively and quantitatively. The applicant profiles enabled a conjoint experiment with different applicant attributes varied across the profiles (i.e., publications, willingness to cooperate, network recommendation, and applicant gender), the interviewees indicating scores of selection recommendation while thinking aloud. Our findings reveal gendered arguments, i.e., questioning women potentially fueled by a perception of women’s exceptional status and perceived self-questioning of women. Furthermore, they point to gender-independent and gender-dependent success patterns, thereby to potential success factors particularly for female applicants. We contextualize and interpret our quantitative findings in light of professors’ qualitative statements.

The full article is available open access at: