Portions of this paper were presented at the American Psychological Association meeting, August, 1991, San Francisco.
Pregnancy as a source of bias in performance appraisals†
Version of Record online: 21 NOV 2006
Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Organizational Behavior
Volume 14, Issue 7, pages 649–663, December 1993
How to Cite
Halpert, J. A., Wilson, M. L. and Hickman, J. L. (1993), Pregnancy as a source of bias in performance appraisals. J. Organiz. Behav., 14: 649–663. doi: 10.1002/job.4030140704
- Issue online: 21 NOV 2006
- Version of Record online: 21 NOV 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 FEB 1993
- Manuscript Received: 23 APR 1991
Notwithstanding recent gains, women have still not achieved parity with men in the workplace. This is further complicated by common negative images of pregnant women (Taylor and Langer, 1977). The present study investigated (1) stereotypes about pregnant working women, and (2) the effect of an employee's pregnancy on performance evaluation. In the first study, subjects' attitudes about pregnant employees were assessed via questionnaire. Substantial negative stereotyping was found to exist, especially among males. In Study 2, subjects viewed videotapes of either a pregnant or a non-pregnant women doing assessment-center-type tasks and were asked to evaluate her performance. When the employee was pregnant, she was consistently rated lower compared to when she was non-pregnant. A main effect of rater sex and a rater sex by pregnancy condition interaction were found, indicating that males assigned lower ratings than females and were also more negatively affected by the pregnancy condition. Implications for organizational policy regarding employee pregnancy and performance appraisal systems are discussed.