Does Gender Minority Professional Experience Impact Employment Discrimination? Two Résumé Experiments




social discrimination, gender identity, employment, job application, personnel selection


We sought to examine perceived gender identity, perceived co-worker discomfort, and salary recommendations for youth counselors with transgender-related work experience. In two experiments conducted in 2016 and 2017, we randomized participants to view 1 of 2 résumés with varying work experience at a camp for transgender youth or a generic youth camp. Study 1 participants were 274 adult festivalgoers at a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride festival. Study 2 participants were 296 employed, heterosexual adults aged 35-60 from an online survey panel. In Study 1, viewing the résumé with transgender experience resulted in a statistically significantly higher likelihood of reporting the applicant was gender minority than cisgender (adjusted odds ratio = 3.76, 95% confidence interval [1.32, 10.72],   p = .01), higher but not a statistically significant level of co-worker discomfort (aOR = 1.39, 95% CI [0.83, 2.32], p = .22), and, although not statistically significant, a $2,605 higher salary (95% CI [-$604, - $5,814], p = .11). In Study 2, we found a statistically significantly greater likelihood of reporting the applicant was gender minority than cisgender (OR = 2.56, 95% CI [1.36, 4.82], p < .01), statistically significantly higher odds of reported co-worker discomfort (OR = 3.57, 95% CI [2.15, 5.92], p < .01), and, although not statistically significant, a $1,374 higher salary (95% CI [-$1,931, $4,679], p = .41). Our results indicate the potential for stigma by association for professionals working with marginalized groups and suggest potential pathways through which employment discrimination may exacerbate existing inequities for gender minority people.

Author Biographies

Ashley N. Cabacungan, Department of Health Education and Promotion, East Carolina University

Research Assistant, Department of Health Education and Promotion

Joseph G. L. Lee, Department of Health Education and Promotion, East Carolina University

Assistant Professor, Department of Health Education and Promotion

Beth H. Chaney, Department of Health Education and Promotion, East Carolina University

Associate Professor, Health Education and Promotion

Paige E. Averett, School of Social Work, East Carolina University

Professor, School of Social Work


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