International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

The fatherhood penalty / fatherhood bonus in recruitment

Janina Pietrzak, Univeristy of Warsaw; Katarzyna Chroł, Univeristy of Warsaw; Magdalena Markiewicz, Univeristy of Warsaw; Małgorzata Mikołajczak, Univeristy of Warsaw

Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: Univeristy of Warsaw
Research Area: Social inequality and social change

In three experiments, we show that the predicted "motherhood penalty" -- a negative perception of mothers' competence, compared to non-mothers -- was not observed in the recruitment process. Mothers are, however, considered less flexible and open to travel. Results are discussed in terms of a discrimination-without-prejudice framework. How can (correct) assumptions regarding work-home obligations, absent stereotypical beliefs about skills and competence, lead to gender gaps in high-status positions? Meanwhile, fathers were both disadvantaged (with a lower wage recommended than for single men) and advantaged (with more positive assessments of their abilities). Ambivalent sexism predicted ratings of warmth and competence depending on parental status. Implications for fair hiring practices are discussed.