Men Helped By Social ‘Contacts’ At Work

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RALEIGH, N.C., Aug. 16 (UPI) — When it comes to finding a job, who you know is as important as what you know — if you are a man — a U.S. researcher suggests.

Dr. Steve McDonald, an assistant professor of sociology at North Carolina State University, used a national data set of more than 12,000 people.

McDonald finds men who had lots of specialized work experience were often recruited into a new job through their social contacts without having to look for a job. Men were 12 percent more likely to find a new job through informal recruitment than they were through a formal job search, the study says.

“Previously, researchers have argued that women face lower-wage payoffs than men with similar work experience because the women have fewer opportunities to develop job skills,” McDonald says in a statement. “But this study suggests that a lack of useful social connections may also be driving the gender wage gap.”

The gender disparity is especially problematic for women who are vying for high-wage, managerial jobs — because those positions are often filled through the informal recruiting process that appears to favor men, McDonald says.

“As a result, the more that can be done to institute formal hiring practices, the closer we will be to an equitable job market,” McDonald says.

The findings are published in the journal Social Science Research.

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