At least that’s what a study demonstrated. Undergrad science students applying for a lab manager position were less likely to be chosen and would be offered a lower salary on average.
So not only was there a gap in perceived competence and fit for the position, but professors were less willing to engage in the type of mentoring that can help students gain both skills and confidence in their abilities—which can be especially important for under-represented groups.
And despite what you might expect, female professors were just as likely to do this as male professors were. Just thinking an applicant was female seems to have touched off an unconscious bias that led them to see female candidates negatively and to be less willing to spend time mentoring them. Professors’ age, tenure status and discipline didn’t make a difference, either.
The professors were also asked to recommend a starting salary. Again there was a significant difference. The average suggested beginning salary for the male candidate was $30,238, while for the female student it was $26,507