Michael Brownstein has written a very thorough post at the Feminist Philosophers blog discussing a widely publicized study by Wendy Williams and Stephen Ceci that’s supposed to show that women are favored over men in academic hiring.
Here is Michael’s summary of his argument:
(a) participants in W&C’s study know that this is only a mock hire; (b) they know they are comparing applications from men and women; and (c) all of the candidates are described as excellent (e.g., “a powerhouse”). Given all of this, it seems reasonable to think that participants took this as an opportunity to appear unbiased. The stakes are low; gender is salient; and all of the candidates are stellar. So it remains very plausible that biased hiring persists in this (i.e., TT junior hires in STEM) and other areas, when the stakes are higher and the quality of the candidates is harder to decipher.
But you should read the whole thing.