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Want to hire more women? Expand your short list

As more male-dominated industries look for ways to hire women, new Cornell University research offers employers a simple solution—make your initial job candidate short list longer.

Many professional advancement opportunities—jobs, promotions, trainings and mentorships—are filled through informal recruitment practices. But these practices pose an unintended barrier to gender diversity in male-dominant workplaces because when hiring managers consult their "mental Rolodex," they are more likely to associate certain jobs with specific genders.

"Our research investigates informal short lists," said Brian Lucas, assistant professor in the ILR School and co-author of "A Longer Shortlist Increases the Consideration of Female Candidates in Male-Dominant Domains," recently published by Nature Human Behaviour.

"These are the initial shortlists that hiring managers generate on their own and bring with them into the formal recruitment process," Lucas said. "For positions with no formal process, the informal list is the final list."

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