Iris Bohnet is a behavioral economist at Harvard University, where she is a professor, Director of the Women and Public Policy Program, and Co-Chair of the Behavioral Insights Group at the Kennedy School of Government. Her latest book is What Works: Gender Equality by Design.
From the transcript of her interview with Fareed Zakaria:
ZAKARIA: Now, when trying to understand gender bias, one of the things you talk about is auditioning for orchestras, which would seem to be a very simple test. But you say that you could find gender bias there and that there was a solution?--Marshal Zeringue
BOHNET: There's actually a lot that we can learn from orchestras. In the '70s, many of our major orchestras realized that they only had 5 percent female musicians. And they came up with something quite creative. They introduced screens and had musicians audition behind the screen. It turns out that dramatically increased the fraction of female musicians. We now have almost 40 percent female musicians on our major orchestras. And these screens played an important role in doing so.
ZAKARIA: And this was basically people playing behind a black curtain so that you couldn't tell whether it was a man or a woman, or if somebody was black, white or Asian?
BOHNET: That's exactly right. In some instances, they even asked people to take off their shoes, so that we couldn't hear whether a male or a female was...[read on]