En fair ansættelse - enhver mands ret: En kritisk diskursanalyse af ubevidste kønsbias i rekrutteringen på Copenhagen Business School

Anne Louise Sloth

Student thesis: Master thesis


Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to reveal how unconscious gender bias occurs discursively in the assessments of a female and a male applicant for a position as Associate Professor of the Copenhagen Business School (CBS). Several earlier quantitative studies show that unconscious gender bias occurs in different contexts in academia, and one of these contexts is in the assessments of applicant’s Curricula Vitae. This study contributes to the research field by investigating these findings from a qualitative perspective so as to obtain understanding about how unconscious gender bias are initiated, expressed, and how they interact with societal structures and ideologies. Concretely, the thesis examines unconscious gender bias stored in the assessments of a female and a male applicant’s CV in three theoretical levels. Firstly, how biases are initiated on a textual micro logical level. Secondly it analyses which discourses are used and whether they are associated with reproduction or transformation of the traditional gender roles. Finally, on a macro logical level, the interaction between societal equality structures and ideologies and the assessments of the two applicants is discussed. Methodology: The study was carried out in a randomized double-blind with 28 participants who hold the positions of either Associate Professor or Professor at CBS. The participants were asked to assess the CV of an applicant, which had been randomly assigned either a male or female name, for a position as Associate Professor. The questions asked were addressing subjects in which unconscious gender bias, in particular, is revealed to appear based on the conclusions of earlier studies. Findings: This study show that unconscious gender bias is discursively expressed by a continuous tendency to favor the male applicant and devalue the female. Unconscious gender bias thus plays an important role in the assessments of, respectively, the female and male applicant as several of the assessments were not based on actual information given in the CV. Instead, the statements show a tendency to subjectively interpret the actual information, where the assumptions and interpretations reflect societal ideologies and structures about gender roles and gender equality. To a lesser extent, the statements also identify objective assessments based on meritocracy, as well as statements that transform the traditional gender role pattern.

EducationsMSc in Human Resource Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages116