Co-authored research by Joni Hersch and Jennifer Shinall addressing women re-entering the workforce attracts international media attention

May 31, 2016

New, first-of-its-kind research from two Vanderbilt Law School economists—Professor of Law and Economics Joni Hersch and Assistant Professor of Law Jennifer Bennett Shinall—contradicts conventional wisdom and finds a female applicant strongly increases her chances of being hired if she gives personal information clarifying her resume gaps.

Read ResearchNews@Vanderbilt story about Hersch & Shinall’s study

Their study has attracted international print and video media coverage, a sampling of which is listed below:

The New York Times: A child care gap in the résumé: Whether to explain or not – May 19, 2016 – For women hoping to return to the workplace after caring for their children, the advice is often “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Many women who described themselves as stay-at-home mothers can attest to receiving denigrating nods and hasty rebuffs when pressed about their resume gaps. But according to a new study by Vanderbilt researchers Joni Hersch and Jennifer Bennett Shinall, women may be better off explaining their decision to stay home to a potential employer upfront. A related story was also posted by Futurity.

NPR’s On Point interviewed Jennifer Shinall about how women re-entering the workforce should talk about their child-care gap during job interviews. May 23, 2016

Slate: If you left the workforce to have children, it’s better to say so in a job interview – May 20, 2016 – For women who step away from the workforce to have children, trying to return can come with anxieties. First and foremost: Do you ignore the résumé gap? Camouflage it with part-time or volunteer commitments? Pre-empt any questions by just telling the truth? A straightforward explanation is not only the simplest option but also the best one, according to a study by two Vanderbilt Law School economists. Co-authors Joni Hersch and Jennifer Shinall are quoted.

Bloomberg: Stop telling women to shut up about their kids during job interviews – May 24, 2016 – If you heed the wisdom of career experts on the Internet, talking about your kids during a job interview is a bad idea. It gives employers a reason to discriminate, especially against mothers who are presumed to have less than unlimited time to devote to their jobs. But there’s new evidence from Vanderbilt University that keeping the kids out of the job interview is harming some of the most vulnerable women in the U.S. workforce. Study co-author Jennifer Shinall is quoted. Both Shinall and fellow co-author Joni Hersch are mentioned in a related article in Inc. magazine. The research is also featured in articles in New York Magazine, Deadspin, Business News Daily and the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

The Street: Study: For women re-entering workforce, it pays to be transparent – May 31, 2016 – Should women coming back into the workforce reveal marital status or information about their child-care responsibilities during a job interview? A new study says they should. Co-authors Joni Hersch and Jennifer Shinall are quoted. Shinall also is interviewed in a featured video produced by The Street.

Marie Claire: The Totally Counterintuitive Thing Science Says You Should Do to Your Résumé– Features a video interview with Hersch and Shinall produced by Vanderbilt Video.

Hersch and Shinall’s research is also featured articles in the Daily Mail (U.K.), Science Daily , Workplace Diva, Psych Central, The Economic Times (India), and Univision .


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