Now you see it now you don't: The effect of teaching style and seniority on gender bias in teaching evaluations
Gender bias in teaching evaluations leads to unfair decisions during academics’ careers. In two controlled experiments, we examine whether gender bias is eliminated by an academic’s high warmth teaching style and by seniority. We find that gender bias lowers recommendations to hire female academics delivering identical content as male academics, with the effect mediated by evaluations of the academic’s warmth and/or competence. In Study 1, we test competing hypotheses regarding the effect of teaching style on gender bias. We find that a high warmth teaching style increases women’s perceived warmth, but decreases their perceived competence, so gender bias in hiring recommendations remains. In Study 2, we find that gender bias disappears for senior academics. Finally, we find no evidence of less biased evaluations by those who anticipate gender bias. We discuss our findings in the higher education context and make recommendations to mitigate gender bias in teaching evaluations.