In this post, I’ll talk about what happened when we built real-time voice masking to investigate the magnitude of bias against women in technical interviews.
Interviewee technical score wasn’t faring that well either – men on the platform had an average technical score of 3 out of 4, as compared to a 2.5 out of 4 for women.
Armed with the ability to hide gender during technical interviews, we were eager to see what the hell was going on and get some insight into why women were consistently underperforming.
Most people opted in, and we informed interviewees that their voice might be masked during a given round and asked them to refrain from sharing their gender with their interviewers.
We started to notice some trends in the opposite direction of what we expected: for technical ability, it appeared that men who were modulated to sound like women did a bit better than unmodulated men and that women who were modulated to sound like men did a bit worse than unmodulated women.
One prevailing trend that emerged immediately was the difference between how men and women handled the “Discovery of their pecking order of talent, an initiation that is typical of socialization across the professions.” For women, realizing that they may no longer be at the top of the class and that there were others who were performing better, “The experience [triggered] a more fundamental doubt about their abilities to master the technical constructs of engineering expertise [than men].”
Of course, what survey of gender difference research would be complete without an allusion to the wretched annals of dating? When I told the interviewing.io team about the disparity in attrition between genders, there sounding response was along the lines of, “Well, yeah. Just think about dating from a man’s perspective.” Indeed, a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior confirms that men treat rejection in dating very differently than women, even going so far as to say that men “Reported they would experience a more positive than negative affective response after being sexually rejected.”