To read this content please select one of the options below:

What drives hiring discrimination against transgenders?

Hannah Van Borm (Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)
Stijn Baert (Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 2 July 2018




The purpose of this paper is to explore the mechanisms underlying hiring discrimination against transgender women.


The authors conduct a scenario experiment in which fictitious hiring decisions are made about transgender or cisgender female job candidates. In addition, these candidates are scored on statements related to theoretical reasons for hiring discrimination given in the literature. The resulting data are analysed by means of a multiple mediation model.


The results suggest that prejudices with respect to the health of transgender individuals mediate unfavourable treatment of them. However, this mechanism is compensated by a beneficial perception concerning transgender women’s autonomy and assertiveness.

Social implications

Targeted policy measures are needed given the substantial labour market discrimination against transgender individuals measured in former studies. However, to combat this discrimination effectively, one needs to understand its underlying mechanisms. This study provides a first exploration of these mechanisms.


This study innovates in being the first to explore the relative empirical importance of dominant (theoretical) explanations for hiring discrimination against transgender women. Thereby, the authors take the logical next step in the literature on labour market discrimination against transgender individuals.



Van Borm, H. and Baert, S. (2018), "What drives hiring discrimination against transgenders?", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 39 No. 4, pp. 581-599.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles