Women half as likely as men to be described as “excellent” in recommendation letters, says report

October 7, 2016

A new US study has found that women are only half as likely as their male counterparts to receive letters of recommendation containing language that describes them as “excellent” rather than “good,” reports Inside Higher Ed. The study examined letters from roughly 500 US and international institutions involving candidates for a postdoctoral research fellowship in the geosciences at a top American university. “We need to address any hidden biases that systemically disadvantage one or more segments of the population,” said lead author Kuheli Dutt, adding that this effort should begin with “meaningful dialogues on implicit bias, be it at an institutional level or at a larger level.” Inside Higher Ed