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Diversity matters. Having a bias towards any type of person creates homogeny in the workplace that can stifle creativity. This is true for any industry, including hospitality, where having a diverse team helps companies understand the needs of a diverse client base.

In the restaurant industry, gender bias can be an issue. Male bartenders dominate, despite the fact that the Department of Labor suggests 60% of American bartenders are female. Haley Hamilton in Mel Magazine put it this way, “If more than half of American bartenders are women, why are we still so frequently treated as outsiders?”

Here’s how to eliminate gender bias when hiring bartenders in the hospitality field.

Defining Gender Bias

Gender bias arises from stereotyping by gender. For example, toughness and stamina associated with men or emotionalism associated with women. These biases can be so engrained they are literally unconscious, which makes them much harder to ferret out. Interestingly, Science for Work says male-dominated jobs often have the most gender discrimination. While bartending jobs may seem like they should be gender-neutral, one of the biggest cases associated with gender discrimination came from a 1964 lawsuit that alleged a hospitality chain only hired one male bartender per location. The case was won, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission established that gender discrimination against anyone is wrong.

Gender Bias in the Hospitality Field

These biases are real; a recent report showed that women are often pushed into lower-paying roles in the hospitality fields. A second study suggested that, “White male food industry workers are channeled to bartender and server jobs in fine-dining establishments—positions that can pay as much as $150,000 a year.”

Bartenders have a specialized skill set and make more in tips than many of the roles in the hospitality field. So the impact of gender bias in these roles can create pay inequities for women in the field.

How can companies change things up so more women are ultimately placed in these roles?

Hiring for Everyone

Gender bias is the real deal; American women still make less than their male counterparts and the gap isn’t closing until about 2058. How can employers shift the balance of power in the hospitality industry so any gender bias when hiring bartenders can be eliminated well before that date?

A Harvard economist says there are several ways restaurants, hotels and bars can proactively head off any gender bias during their hiring processes:

  • First, make sure the ads you place are gender-neutral. In addition to the obvious elimination of male-specific pronouns, Glassdoor reminds us to avoid “bro-speak,” which is language that emphasizes, “an aggressive, beer-drinking, foosball-oriented culture.”
  • Second, consider blinding resumes by replacing gender-specific names with numbers. This is especially effective if you are screening candidates in a committee or group.
  • Next, ensure gender neutrality by asking the same interview questions of everyone, regardless of culture, gender or any other category. This will help eliminate any shared connection biases that could skew the interview results one way or another.

Gender bias is real, but employers can use these techniques to overcome these stereotypes and place the most qualified bartenders on the floor—no matter what their gender.

For more tips on how to eliminate bias during the hiring process, contact the team at Gecko Hospitality.

Gecko Hospitality

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