The gender qualification gap: Why women ‘over-invest’ in workplace capabilities

It took a Nobel Prize before Canadian physicist Donna Strickland got promoted to a full professorship. As anecdotal evidence that women have to prove themselves even more than men to earn a job promotion, her story is hard to beat.

Looking deeper, it’s more complex than outright sexism. Strickland herself dismissed suggestions her career had ever been stymied by being treated differently to her male colleagues. Her explanation for why her intellect and achievements had not been recognised by promotion to full professor? “I never applied.”

That she had to add a Nobel Prize to her CV before she considered applying for her promotion is likely to resonate among women. Many sense they need to do more than their male counterparts to prove their worth in the workplace.

But is there any statistical evidence that women need higher credentials than men to be promoted and recognised in their own profession?

Much research focuses on the gender gap in absolute outcomes. This doesn’t help with this specific question. We need a way to compare men and women on the same rung of the career ladder. Read more

Leonora Risse - SmartCompany - 21 November 2018

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