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An Experiential Exercise for Illustrating Gender Bias in Career and other Human Resource Management Decisions

An Experiential Exercise for Illustrating Gender Bias in Career and other Human Resource Management Decisions


AN EXPERIENTIAL EXERCISE FOR ILLUSTRATING GENDER BIAS IN CAREER AND OTHER HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT DECISIONS Charles M. Vance Loyola Marymount University Ellen A. Ensher Claremont Graduate School We have developed an exercise that we have found to be valuable in helping undergraduate and working graduate (MBA) students to be more aware of how underlying biases regarding gender roles can influence their decisions affecting the careers and working lives of others. In addition, this exercise is effective in helping students to be more conscious of their own and others' differing values and perceptions regarding issues related to career decisions, including those faced by dual-career couples. This brief case exercise, which can take 40 to 60 minutes to deliver, de- pending on depth of class discussion, was inspired by a much longer Janis/ Jack Jerome Case (Gandz & Howell, 1988-1989), which we found to be too cumbersome and inflexible for our teaching needs, especially for undergrad- uate instruction. This exercise involves having students in four- to six-person groups first individually read a brief case scenario (see the appendix) about Chris Jamison, who is facing a decision to accept/reject a promotion offer, the acceptance of which would directly conflict with a
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