Thursday, April 20, 2017

It is undeniable that inequality still exists, and my recent research into leadership across multiple sectors suggests that this trend that leaves universities the poorer. Indeed my study concludes that women are, in fact, better suited to positions of management in all but one of the five categories. These categories covers traits of effective leaders, including the ability to withstand job-related pressure; the ability to take the initiative and communicate with clarity; an ability to innovate, to retain curiosity and ambition; the ability to support colleagues and work inclusively; and finally an ability to set goals. With my colleague Lars Glaso, I analyzed data from a survey of nearly 3,000?managers- more than 900 women, more than 900 in senior management and nearly 900 from public sector. I found out that women achieved higher scores in four of the five traits. This indicates that women are far more naturally suited to positions of leadership than their male counterparts. The one area in which women performed less well was the ability to withstand job-related stress. It is undeniable that the top jobs in higher education carry a heavy burden of responsibility. But consider how women outperform men in the four other crucial areas (Oyvind Martinsen, Timeshighereducation.com, 2017).

What’s to blame? Industry matters ― the largest gaps appear in technology-based spaces such as videogames, IT and engineering, as well as finance and insurance. In the healthcare industry, it’s 23%. In addition, survey evidence shows that women ask for less money and employers comply: on average, employers offered women about 3% less than what they offered men for the same role. There’s also the “glass ceiling”, meaning it’s harder for women to break into more senior roles, and they therefore face a shorter wage ceiling.However, there’s another less-spoken way that working women can achieve pay equity: having access to quality, affordable birth control. Contraception doesn’t close the pay gap per se, but rather the opportunity gap. By giving women control over their personal lives, they have the time, energy and ability to focus on their careers without worrying about unexpected pregnancies. Delaying a first birth by a few years can reduce the pay gap that typically exists between working mothers and those who have decided to delay having a child during their careers (Sandra Pelletier, huffingtonpost.com, 2017).

I do not think men is to blame for the glass ceiling. Many women is capable to be equally like men and paid equally like men, but they choose not to take that role themselves. It's easy to blame women for not being assertive enough. There is good evidence that women tend to want to be able to do 95 per cent of a job description before they'll apply for it whereas men will apply for it being able to do 60 per cent of it. Men are more confident, men are more assertive and will go for higher increases and so on. A common reaction to that is to say women should become more like men ( Britt Mann, stuff.co.nz, 2017). This shows that women can be equal to men but they choose not to take the challenge.

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