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Peter Fisher

Award-winning research suggests startup websites might give men career advantages

If you start a company, chances are you’re going to create a website with an “our team” or similarly named page, featuring smiling faces and bios. Pages like this put a human face on the company. But is that always a good thing? Laurier student Peter Fisher isn’t so sure.

Peter is a PhD candidate in Management at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, concentrating on Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management. Recently, the Human Resources Research Institute (HRRI) named the master’s project he completed for his MSc in Management the best in Canada. This marks the fourth time since 2011 that a Laurier student has won the HRRI Best Master's Thesis award.

For his project, completed under Professor Chet Robie, his supervisor, Peter found that all-male teams displayed on websites resulted in an advantage for certain male job candidates.

“In STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] fields, the tech startup fields, a lot of companies have teams that are just men,” says Fisher. “The hypothesis was that when women are exploring these companies looking for potential future employers, they’ll look at the website and see an all-male or mostly male team and perhaps that will undermine their performance in the selection procedure.”

Peter Fisher first became involved in researching gender in the workplace when he worked with Assistant Professor Ivona Hideg as a senior undergraduate student, also at Laurier. Hideg remains a mentor and an important influence, says Peter.

Congratulations Peter! 

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