PDF For women only. How to avoid all those gender pitfalls.

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In their study of more than 45, crash victims over 11 years, researchers from the University of Virginia found women drivers were much more likely to be injured in a crash than men. They said this was because car safety features had been designed for men. Globally, 12 million girls each year get married before the age of 18 - roughly 33, every day, or one every two seconds. There are some million women alive today who were child brides.

Gender diversity: five perception disconnects that must be fixed

In rural parts of sub-Saharan Africa, a lack of services and infrastructure, combined with an expectation of household duties and limited employment opportunities for women, means they shoulder an unequal burden of gathering water and wood for their families. According to the UN, collectively these women spend 40 billion hours a year collecting water.

Across the countries covered since the first edition of the report, the biggest gaps to close are in the economic and political empowerment dimensions, which will take and years to close, respectively. It found that only Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden scored full marks on eight indicators - from receiving a pension to freedom of movement - influencing economic decisions women make during their careers. Girls were less confident at solving science and maths problems and reported higher levels of anxiety towards maths.

Pitfalls and challenges in work with men...

In a study of students at Cornell University in , psychologists found that women rated their scientific abilities lower than men, even though they performed roughly the same in a quiz. The Geena Davis Institute analysed theatrical releases between and in 10 countries - and found that of the 5, speaking or named characters, less than a third The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

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Gender Gap on the Job

Furthermore, the human tendency to gravitate to people who are like oneself leads powerful men to sponsor and advocate for other men when leadership opportunities arise. Many CEOs who make gender diversity a priority—by setting aspirational goals for the proportion of women in leadership roles, insisting on diverse slates of candidates for senior positions, and developing mentoring and training programs—are frustrated.

They and their companies spend time, money, and good intentions on efforts to build a more robust pipeline of upwardly mobile women, and then not much happens. It involves a fundamental identity shift.

Women in China

Organizations inadvertently undermine this process when they advise women to proactively seek leadership roles without also addressing policies and practices that communicate a mismatch between how women are seen and the qualities and experiences people tend to associate with leaders. This research also points to some steps that companies can take in order to rectify the situation. Scott DeRue and Susan J. Ashford Academy of Management Review, October Ely and Deborah L. The solutions to the pipeline problem are very different from what companies currently employ. Traditional high-potential, mentoring, and leadership education programs are necessary but not sufficient.

Our research, teaching, and consulting reveal three additional actions companies can take to improve the chances that women will gain a sense of themselves as leaders, be recognized as such, and ultimately succeed. People become leaders by internalizing a leadership identity and developing a sense of purpose. Internalizing a sense of oneself as a leader is an iterative process. A person asserts leadership by taking purposeful action—such as convening a meeting to revive a dormant project.

Others affirm or resist the action, thus encouraging or discouraging subsequent assertions. Such affirmation gives the person the fortitude to step outside a comfort zone and experiment with unfamiliar behaviors and new ways of exercising leadership. An absence of affirmation, however, diminishes self-confidence and discourages him or her from seeking developmental opportunities or experimenting. Leadership identity, which begins as a tentative, peripheral aspect of the self, eventually withers away, along with opportunities to grow through new assignments and real achievements. Over time, an aspiring leader acquires a reputation as having—or not having—high potential.

Her career prospects looked bleak. But both her reputation and her confidence grew when she was assigned to work with two clients whose CFOs happened to be women.

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These relationships, both internal and external, gave Amanda the confidence boost she needed to generate ideas and express them forthrightly, whether to colleagues or to clients. Effective leaders develop a sense of purpose by pursuing goals that align with their personal values and advance the collective good. This allows them to look beyond the status quo to what is possible and gives them a compelling reason to take action despite personal fears and insecurities. Such leaders are seen as authentic and trustworthy because they are willing to take risks in the service of shared goals.

By connecting others to a larger purpose, they inspire commitment, boost resolve, and help colleagues find deeper meaning in their work. Furthermore, the human tendency to gravitate to people like oneself leads powerful men to sponsor and advocate for other men when leadership opportunities arise.

But powerful women are scarce. This bias erects powerful but subtle and often invisible barriers for women that arise from cultural assumptions and organizational structures, practices, and patterns of interaction that inadvertently benefit men while putting women at a disadvantage. Among them are:. Fewer female leaders means fewer role models and can suggest to young would-be leaders that being a woman is a liability—thus discouraging them from viewing senior women as credible sources of advice and support. For one example, formal rotations in sales or operations have traditionally been a key step on the path to senior leadership, and men are more likely than women to have held such jobs.

Yet requirements like these may be outdated when it comes to the kinds of experience that best prepare a person to lead. How work is valued may similarly give men an advantage: Research indicates that organizations tend to ignore or undervalue behind-the-scenes work building a team, avoiding a crisis , which women are more likely to do, while rewarding heroic work, which is most often done by men. These practices were not designed to be discriminatory, but their cumulative effect disadvantages women.

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A vicious cycle ensues: Men appear to be best suited to leadership roles, and this perception propels more of them to seek and attain such positions, thus reinforcing the notion that they are simply better leaders. They cite as a major barrier to advancement their lack of access to influential colleagues. Meanwhile, men in positions of power tend to direct developmental opportunities to junior men, whom they view as more likely than women to succeed.

In most cultures masculinity and leadership are closely linked: The ideal leader, like the ideal man, is decisive, assertive, and independent. In contrast, women are expected to be nice, caretaking, and unselfish.

Kids Explain Why Women Are Paid Less Than Men

The mismatch between conventionally feminine qualities and the qualities thought necessary for leadership puts female leaders in a double bind. Numerous studies have shown that women who excel in traditionally male domains are viewed as competent but less likable than their male counterparts. Behaviors that suggest self-confidence or assertiveness in men often appear arrogant or abrasive in women. Meanwhile, women in positions of authority who enact a conventionally feminine style may be liked but are not respected.

They are deemed too emotional to make tough decisions and too soft to be strong leaders. These actions will give women insight into themselves and their organizations, enabling them to more effectively chart a course to leadership.

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More than 25 years ago the social psychologist Faye Crosby stumbled on a surprising phenomenon: Most women are unaware of having personally been victims of gender discrimination and deny it even when it is objectively true and they see that women in general experience it. Many women have worked hard to take gender out of the equation—to simply be recognized for their skills and talents. Moreover, the existence of gender bias in organizational policies and practices may suggest that they have no power to determine their own success.

When asked what might be holding women back in their organizations, they say:. I just feel less of a connection, either positive or negative, with the guys I work with. So sometimes I seem to have difficulty getting traction for my ideas. I was advised to make the move to a staff role after the birth of my second child. It would be easier, I was told.