“If you want to be perceived as Competent and Influential, it sure helps to be a man over 35.”

That’s among the conclusions of a study using age to understand gender bias, based on over a million ratings of business profile photos.

The short version:

  • Both men’s and women’s perceived competence increases with age, but men’s increases 6 times faster.
  • Both men’s and women’s perceived influence increases with age, but men’s increases 2.5 times faster.
  • Women’s perceived likability declines rapidly with age while men’s stays about the same.

Not surprising, but perhaps particularly important during interview season, when academics are asked to assess job candidates for competence, influence (/reputation) and likability (/collegiality) in ways that cannot fail to be affected by perceptions of their age and gender.