Taking off the Blinders: A Comparative Study of University Students’ Changing Perceptions of Gender Discrimination in the Workplace From 2006 to 2013

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Academy of Management Learning and Education






As evidenced by recent legislation and various forms of media attention, eradicating gender inequity in the workforce is of significant importance today. However, this interest in justice stands in bold contrast to the continued gender wage gap, the steady number of gender discrimination suits filed each year, and the plethora of high-profile cases exposed in the media. Previous data collected in 2006 suggests that the very group readying to enter the workforce does not perceive gender discrimination as a threat of major significance to themselves or others. University students tend to minimize or even disregard the likelihood that they will witness or experience gender bias or discrimination in their careers. Our work here serves as a continuation of and a comparison to the 2006 study, with the goal of determining whether the perspective of university students has shifted, or whether they continue to consider themselves immune to the injustice of gender discrimination at work. Our findings suggest that students in this cohort are not only more aware of these issues, but that this awareness has expanded to include increased concern over gender discrimination against men as well. However, the reluctance of students to believe that they personally will be affected by gender discrimination has been and continues to be surprisingly high.