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A Lesson from Symphony Orchestras.

“In the mid-1960s, less than 10% of the musicians in the “big five” U.S. orchestras (Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, and Cleveland) were women. In the 1970s and 1980s, as part of a broader diversity initiative, the groups changed their audition procedures to eliminate POTENTIAL BIAS. 

Instead of conducting auditions face-to-face, they seated musicians behind a screen or other divider. In a landmark 2000 study, economists Claudia Goldin and Cecilia Rouse found that the screen increased the success rate of female musicians by 160%. 

They attributed roughly a quarter of the orchestras’ increased gender diversity to this simple change. And with selection based more squarely on musical ability, the orchestras were undoubtedly better off.”

Kapirum Consulting

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