Ohio State says a high GPA works against young women job hunters

Good grades in college may hurt rather than help young women looking for a job, a new study from Ohio State University suggests.

Men with high grade point averages are twice as likely to be contacted by employers as women with the same grades and experience, according to the results of an educational background study recently released by OSU.

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The study suggested that employers value a woman’s “likability” more than her academic achievements. Ohio State surveyed 261 hiring managers and found that when employers hire women they are more likely to gravitate to female applicants who are likable and did fine in school, but did not excel academically.

The results are promising for women who are “moderate achievers,” sociable and outgoing but hurts high-achieving women who are often met with skepticism, according to the OSU study.

For the study, Ohio State submitted applications to entry level positions for imaginary job seekers. Men received calls back at approximately the same rate, regardless of their GPA but women with higher GPAs were less likely to get a call back, according to the study.

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“We like to think that we’ve progressed past gender inequality, but it’s still there. The study suggests that women who didn’t spend a lot of time on academics but are ‘intelligent enough’ have an advantage over women who excel in school,” said researcher Natasha Quadlin, an assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State.

Quadlin’s study will appear in the April edition of the journal “American Sociological Review,” according to Ohio State.

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