An Example of Cognitive Bias (past attitudes to single people in management positions)

Single people

There is a demographic shift going on, ie

"...in Australia......24% of households are already one person......this is projected to rise up to 65% in 2036......an estimated 4.3 million more single-person households......families with children account for only 45% of households in Australia and within five years, couples without children will overtake couples with children..."

Claire Payne 2018

Until recently there was an unconscious bias towards selecting people for management positions, especially senior, who were married or with a partner. It was assumed

"...A married man with the responsibility of a family is motivated to work harder and is financially rewarded for his efforts..."

Claire Payne 2018

The social stereotypes of single men were damning, ie

- playboy (a man who has not grown up like Peter Pan; he is infantile)

- bad boy (reckless with his and others' lives)

- ladies man (predatory; not to be trusted)

- a loser (unable to win a partner; unable to look after himself; a slob; a divorcee or separated)

- a weirdo (must be hiding a dark secret, ie gay)

Also, single men can be feared, ie

- are they safe to be left alone with children?

"...yet evidence shows that the majority of violence against women is committed by their own partners and most child abuse is committed by family members..."

Claire Payne 2018

- seen as competition to a married male partner, ie "could steal his wife/partner"

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