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How mechanisms implicated in the collective process of academic hiring in France affect discrimination - C. Musselin, F. Pigeyre

Christine Musselin
Centre de sociologie des organisations (Sciences Po and CNRS), 19, rue Amélie, 75007 Paris, France

Frédérique Pigeyre
EA 2354, institut de recherche en gestion, université Paris-12–Val-de-Marne, place de la Porte-des-Champs, route de Choisy, 94010 Créteil cedex, France

Available online 6 October 2009 on ScienceDirect

How may procedures in effect for hiring junior professors in France affect discrimination against women candidates ? On the basis of detailed surveys and interviews with members of hiring committees in three disciplines, we explain how the specificities of the academic hiring process affect direct and indirect discrimination. Judgment practices on hiring committees are shown to be permeable to types of indirect gender discrimination, while various tools (a grid for evaluating candidate applications, explicitly defined selection criteria, etc.) and arrangements (publicizing proceedings, diversifying committee make-up, collegial decision-making, etc.) allow for circumscribing or containing possible direct discrimination.

Keywords : Direct discrimination ; Indirect discrimination ; Hiring ; Collective decision-making ; Gender ; Judgment practices ; Decision-making tools ; Universities ; Academics ; France

Article Outline

  • 1. The nature and origins of gender bias in academic hiring
    • 1.1. Criteria that are not as neutral as they seem
    • 1.2. The weight of profession-related gender representations
    • 1.3. Discrepancies between the spirit and the letter
  • 2. How collegial decision-making works to reduce discrimination
    • 2.1. Actor diversity, judgment diversity
    • 2.2. Publicity of debates and decision-making
    • 2.3. Formalizing selection criteria to facilitate and improve collective decision-making
  • 3. Conclusion
  • Appendix A. Quantitative data on hiring and CNU “qualification” in three disciplines
  • Appendix B. Presence of women by academic status in three disciplines, 2002.
  • Appendix C. Interview procedure (components)
  • References

Sociologie du Travail
Volume 51, Supplement 2, November 2009, Pages e81–e103
Translation by Amy Jacobs