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Losing Competition for Talent: Gender Bias in Advisor Selection
The current research examines the intersection between gender bias and mentorship formation. From the mentor’s perspective, producing a successful protégé is a two-step process – recruiting protégés with the most potential and then helping them realize that potential. While previous work on gender bias mainly focused on the latter step, the present research suggests that female mentors might be disadvantaged at the early stage of protégé recruitment and lose the competition for top talent to their male counterparts. The author examined the actual, high-stakes decisions of protégés selecting their mentors on the reality singing competition, The Voice. Comparing to the simulation results, female mentors were significantly less successful in recruiting top talent protégés than would be expected by chance. The results also indicate a disadvantage of being a token female; female mentors were especially less likely to recruit top talent protégés when they were numerically underrepresented.