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Impartial selections. Published in "Business Guide" 19(3), 63

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BIB_45393E20F10B.pdf Orchestrating impartiality in the selection process, by John Antonakis Imagine you play the violin and you are about to audition in front of a famous conductor. You are a woman and the conductor is a man. Unfortunately for you, the conductor has an implicit expectation that men make the best violinists (this stereotype has historical roots from the "old days" wherein sexism prevailed in most vocations; thus, in the past, the most famous violinists that come to mind are usually men). You play your piece quite well but are not selected for the next round of screening. In the last issue, I explained why an expectation of an event leads to the occurrence of the event, particularly if the "prophet" has power. That is, if you played quite well, your good performance will be discounted (in this way the conductor maintains cognitive consistency). The guy beside you, who played as well as you did (maybe even marginally worse), got through though. Interesting, a recent study published in the prestigious American Economic Review by Goldin and Rouse (2000) showed that after the introduction of a certain selection processes in the 1970s and 1980s increased the probability that a women would advance to the next round of the audition process by 50%. This increase coincided with an important procedure in the selection processes: the blind audition. By blind, we do not mean that the eyes of the conductor were gouged out of their sockets! A way of obtaining the same result (i.e., a "blind" conductor) and not causing any grievous bodily harm to anyone is to hide the identity of the applicant (by placing a screen between the conductor and the applicant). Only then can the applicant be given a fair chance (and what a difference this process has made to the proportion of women actually hired in top orchestras, which increased from 5% to about 25%, in a vocation where voluntary turnover, and thus openings are relatively low). Similarly, there are metho

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