Gender

Gender quotas and the crisis of the mediocre man

A common criticism against gender quotas is that they are anathema to meritocratic principles. This research on Sweden shows that the opposite can be true: Quotas actually increased the competence of politicians by leading to the displacement of mediocre men whether as candidates or leaders. The results may also be relevant for judging gender quotas in business.

More than 100 countries […]

Diversity is a fact; inclusion, a choice

An organisation’s competitiveness may depend on its ability to create an inclusive workplace that uses the talents of a diverse workforce. Yet many organisations struggle with this, despite research linking an ‘inclusive’ culture, where all talent feels valued regardless of gender, ethnic background or sexuality, to higher reported innovation and teamwork.

People who feel different from the dominant majority can […]

How your sexual orientation affects your salary in the UK

Finding the right data

Since the mid-1990s, labour market discrimination based on sexual orientation has been investigated by a number of researchers (Badgett 1995, Black et al. 2003, Arabsheibani et al. 2005 and others). These studies frequently find sizeable earnings differences: 1) partnered gay men earn significantly less than partnered heterosexual men; and 2) partnered lesbian women earn significantly more than partnered heterosexual […]

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    Tracking the pesky myths that blame women for the glass ceiling

Tracking the pesky myths that blame women for the glass ceiling

For too long myths about women in the workplace have reigned supreme; and they go something like this. Women aren’t ambitious and they don’t want the top job. Furthermore, women don’t help other women, and they (all women?!) lack confidence; and just need to negotiate.

It’s quite a damning list to label half of the world’s population with, especially when […]

Economic growth strategies affect female employment

Eastern European countries had the highest female employment rates in the world during the socialist period. While the transition to capitalism had an initially negative impact on labour markets across the region, by the end of the transition some of these countries managed to recover their female employment to the high levels they had experienced prior to 1989 (see […]

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    Guessing our colleagues’ gay and lesbian identities can be harmful

Guessing our colleagues’ gay and lesbian identities can be harmful

Have you ever made assumptions about your colleague’s sexuality? Yes, no, possibly? If you have, you are certainly not alone. However, most scholars hold the assumption that non-heterosexuality is hidden or invisible and needs to be disclosed to others (to be known), indirectly inferring that sexual minorities have full control over when, where and how they ‘come out’ at […]

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    Fed interest rates meetings: where women’s voices are rarely heard

Fed interest rates meetings: where women’s voices are rarely heard

FOMC meeting in Washington, D.C., Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Public Domain
In the wake of the great recession, the Federal Reserve gained new prominence as it kept interest rates low in an effort to prop up an ailing economy. Changes to the Fed’s interest rate are decided by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which is made up of Fed […]

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    Why we seldom hear of transgender employees in our workplaces

Why we seldom hear of transgender employees in our workplaces

Wall, by josemdelaa, under a CC0 licence
Given advances in the gay, lesbian and bisexual movement over the last several decades, society assumes that the achievement has been similar for the transgender community (those whose gender identity does not correspond to the sex they were assigned at birth). Despite the increasing public presence of transgender (or ‘trans’) individuals in entertainment and […]

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    A CEO shows us how promoting diversity is not an exact science

A CEO shows us how promoting diversity is not an exact science

GRAM Family Drop-In Studio, by Steven Depolo, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
I spent the first 10 years of my career in one of the very best, but also perhaps least diverse, organisations around.

The British Army taught me a huge amount about leadership, but those lessons did not include how to handle the conversation with a woman coming back from maternity, or […]

November 15th, 2016|Gender, Ian Rand|0 Comments|

Women who quit their careers: a group rarely investigated

Photo by unsplash.com, under a CC0 licence
Diversity and gender equality programmes are now a well-established feature of leading employers’ human resources strategies. Supporting women to remain in the workplace and achieve senior leadership positions is regarded increasingly as not just ‘right’ but also profitable – there is a business case for creating and maintaining a diverse workforce.

However, the focus in […]

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    The more men know about work gender inequality, the more they act as advocates

The more men know about work gender inequality, the more they act as advocates

Photo by startupstockphotos.com, under a CCO licence
In the workplace and society, being male has innate advantages, even though this ‘male privilege’ can be difficult to see and recognise. This privilege is rooted in organisational talent management systems, which may be biased in ways that disadvantage women and promote people who mirror the current senior leadership team.

It can be hard for […]

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    Five minutes with Laura Bates: ‘Women bear children’ is not an excuse

Five minutes with Laura Bates: ‘Women bear children’ is not an excuse

Pregnant, by Frank de Kleine, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence

Laura Bates rose to prominence in 2012 when she founded the Everyday Sexism Project, a website that collects women’s daily experiences of gender inequality. Since then she has published two books (Everyday Sexism, 2014; and Girl Up, 2016) and given a number of talks about the barriers to gender equality in everyday life, […]

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    In Italy’s ‘male gerontocracy’, gender quotas induced the restructuring of company boards

In Italy’s ‘male gerontocracy’, gender quotas induced the restructuring of company boards

Fontana di Trevi, Rome, by Giorgio Galeotti, under a CC-BY-2.o licence
Women are underrepresented among top leadership positions everywhere. Gender quotas have been proposed to accelerate the process towards economic gender equality and to promote women’s empowerment. Norway pioneered the introduction of gender quotas for boards of directors in 2005, followed by Italy in 2011 and, more recently, by France and […]

October 18th, 2016|Gender, Paola Profeta|0 Comments|
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    Greek women rushed to look for work when the crisis left their husbands jobless

Greek women rushed to look for work when the crisis left their husbands jobless

Athens street scene, by Luigi Guarino, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
The “added worker effect” hypothesis suggests that the wives of unemployed husbands increase their job-finding efforts in order to maintain the family’s standard of living (Gruber and Cullen, 2000; Stephens, 2002). We investigate this hypothesis in the Greek labour market, which is characterized by increased job separation rates (layoffs, contract termination, […]

Why do women avoid maths, even if it boosts their careers?

(No name) by Pixapopz, under a CC0 licence
Although the college gender gap has reversed, females are still under-represented in high-powered and high-paid careers as CEOs, Ph.D.s, and more generally in finance, business, science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) fields.

In a recent paper (Joensen and Nielsen, 2016), we assess three potential explanations for this inequality. First, are the labour market […]

Quotas have led to more women on corporate boards in Europe

A woman in a business meeting, by CDC/Dawn Arlotta acquired from Public Health Image Library, Public Domain licence
In the last decade, a number of countries adopted legislative actions to promote gender balanced representation on corporate boards. Norway was the first country to do so in 2003. Following the Norwegian example, some EU countries (Spain in 2007; Belgium, France, Italy […]

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    Women scientists differ in how they see the role of gender in their careers

Women scientists differ in how they see the role of gender in their careers

Biotechnology Research, by Idaho National Laboratory, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
“I am a little more open, polished, quick-witted, talkative, a little … more arrogant, pushy… Moreover, I am a woman. That means, I have simply a lot more ambition, and I am substantially more communicative.”
This is Irene. She is a biochemist at a prestigious university for Science, Engineering and Technology. In […]

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    What Jeremy Corbyn should have said about the after-work pint

What Jeremy Corbyn should have said about the after-work pint

So here is what Jeremy Corbyn should have said: “Workplace cultures in which out-of-hours networking is key to professional success and career advancement indirectly discriminate against women because these networking practices exclude workers with caring responsibilities and the majority of those workers are still female.” I’m glad he didn’t say that. It would have got absolutely zero attention in […]

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    Are the days of leadership as command and control by white men numbered?

Are the days of leadership as command and control by white men numbered?

As my train rolls through the stunning Swiss landscape, I find myself distracted by three young women talking animatedly about coding, where they might do their PhDs and whether they might prefer to work in academia, banking or high tech. They’re on their way to a Nanobiotech conference while I’m on my way to an event on how men […]

When it’s not your job to be friendly with clients

Customer service outrage. The phrase instantly conjures up stories of customers being ripped off, mistreated and rudely dismissed by sales staff. Yet we rarely stop to consider a different side to the story and examine the experiences of the thousands of workers in retail and hospitality, who deal with offensive, intimidating and humiliating treatment from customers on a daily […]