Gender Differences In Strengths And Preferences
In order to explain this paradox, the researchers highlighted that Albania and Algeria offer little welfare support in contrast to the Nordic countries which could be an incentive for more women to pursue a well-paid, relatively secure job in STEM. In the Nordic countries, where this influence is less pronounced, factors such as personal academic strengths and interests play more of a role in educational and career decisions. Professor Gijsbert Stoet said that:
even though girls can match boys in terms of how well they do at science and mathematics in school, if those arent their best subjects and they are less interested in them, then theyre likely to choose to study something else.
Within STEM, we also find a higher percentage of women in fields such as medicine and the social sciences than in engineering. Other researchers have stated that this is due to gender differences in interests. Overall, men tend to be more things-orientated, while women tend to be more people-oriented. And careers, of course, differ in how people-oriented or things-oriented they are. This pattern in gender differences is well established in the scientific literature, and it may pertain to the fact that women score higher in agreeableness than men. This is one of the Big Five personality traits and it relates to qualities such as trust, compliance, altruism, straightforwardness, modesty, and tender-mindedness.
Mens And Womens Different Interests Only Explains 30% Of Discrimination
Using a statistical measure called r-squared, we determined that the male/female mix within a career is on average about 31% explained by the fact that men and women have different interests. What this means is that about two-thirds of discrimination is explained by other factors.
In slightly more digestible terms, the correlation between the mix of men and women in a career with the self-reported interest in that career is 0.56. To give some perspective:
Blind Evaluations And Standardized Hiring Processes
One way to help reduce gender bias in issues like wage gaps and lack of women in senior-level positions is to standardize hiring processes, and in some cases, remove the individuals name from the evaluation process entirely When performing interviews, whether for a new hire or an internal promotion, all candidates should be asked the same questions, with responses assigned numerical ratings based on predetermined criteria. Defining clear thresholds for performance management helps standardize expectations across the organization as well.
Setting standards for all processes at any organization provides a benchmark for every employee to work up to and reduces cases of less-qualified employees being rewarded over high performers.
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Social Support In Relation To The Development Of Academic And Career Interest
Social cognitive career theory posits that contextual factors have an important impact on academic and career choices . These factors may include family aspirations, financial situation, and level of education .
Social agents can also have a major influence on teenagers navigating academic and career choices , in particular, family and teachers . Having friends with similar interests positively influences outcome expectations regarding certain professions , and social support from teachers, family, or friends can enhance a persons self-efficacy beliefs, help them to set goals, and motivate them to pursue these goals .
Contextual factors also have an important effect on interest development. According to Holland , people first tend to develop preferences for activities that are influenced by people they interact with in their social circles. These preferences gradually become interests as the person gains confidence in their ability to perform successfully . Social supports can strengthen vocational interest and consequently drive motivation and goal pursuit, just as barriers can have the opposite effect .
Absence Of Gender Bias In School Encourages Women To Study Science
Gender bias is when a person or society unconsciously holds fixed assumptions or prejudices about gender differences and gender roles. In Japan, there is a slang term for women in the sciences called rikejo. The very fact that such a particular term has been coined suggests that there are not many women active in the science field.
In fact, according to a survey conducted by the government in 2021, the percentage of female students in university science and technology departments is 28% and 17% in engineering departments.
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Gendered Career Choices: Paths Toward Studying A Degree In Physical Activity And Sport Science
- 1Institut Nacional dEducació Física de Catalunya , Universitat de Barcelona , Barcelona, Spain
- 2Department of Specific Didactics and Pedagogy, University of the Balearic Islands, Palma, Spain
- 3Department for Languages, Arts and Physical Education, Feminist Research Institute, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
- 4Department of Special Didactics, Universidade de Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain
Some Careers Discriminate Without Much Explanation
While it can be argued that discrimination is never okay, sometimes it can at least be explained by less malicious factors than abject bigotry. For instance, safety considerations might preclude some women from becoming taxi drivers or security guards. Conversely, more people likely trust females to watch over their children due to women being historically caretakers and heads of the family. Women are also more likely to have childcare experience early on as 97% of babysitters are women.
Discrimination in other careers is harder to explain. For instance, women are just as likely as men to show interest in being a pilot, and yet only 7% of pilots are women.
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Admit That Gender Bias Exists
Acknowledging bias is the first step to overcoming it. But, the problem is, we may be guilty of overestimating our levels of gender-based egalitarianism.
Almost every one of my interviewees said that they believed men and women have identical opportunities, workplace experiences, and career paths. Consequently, they believed that women do not succeed because of their individual choices or capabilities and not because of unwelcoming and even hostile work environments.
Essentially: when we ignore the existence of gender bias, we perpetuate it. Harvards Implicit Association Test is a great place to start you can test yourself for gender bias, racial bias, and more.
General Social Cognitive Career Theory Framework
Social cognitive career theory emerged in 1994 as a specification of Bandura general social cognitive theory to contribute to our understanding of how people develop academic and career interests from the perspective of three core tenets: self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and goal representations .
Self-efficacy refers to a persons beliefs about their ability to achieve a desired outcome . These beliefs are closely linked to the nature of the actions required to achieve the outcome, the conditions required for these actions to be successful, the persons perception of their abilities, and the efforts required to overcome setbacks . Self-efficacy partly determines outcome expectations, as a person who believes he or she is capable of performing a task successfully is likely to expect a positive outcome.
Outcome expectations refer to what a person expects will happen if they act or behave in a specific way . They are related to the question If I do this, what will happen? These expectations can be physical , social , or self-evaluative . According to Lent et al. , self-evaluative expectations are the strongest determinants of actions a person will take toward the attainment of a goal . Peoples academic or career choices tend to be governed by how they envisage the outcomes of their choices . Outcome expectations, in turn, help to establish personal goals .
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Gender And Work Attitudes
Gender differences in work attitudes are also important, since how satisfied, involved, committed, and motivated at work one is can influence a wide range of work behaviors, which, in turn, can impact career outcomes. For example, individuals who are more satisfied with their jobs and report greater attachment or loyalty to their organizations are less likely to quit their jobs or be absent from work. Likewise, job involvement and work motivation are associated with career-related behaviors such as working longer hours and demonstrating stronger commitment to ones career, both of which can lead to greater career success. Interestingly, few differences have been found between men and women in job satisfaction and job involvement, although men may report higher organizational commitment than do women.
How Gender Bias Impacts College Career Guidanceand Dissuades Women From Certain Jobs
by Billy Morgan, University of Chicago
With job recruiting season in full swing, college students are busy seeking out business professionals who can help them explore potential career choices. As the candidates expand their networks, these informal exchanges can alter career expectations and choices.
But such connections are not all created equal, according to research from a University of Chicago labor economist. A new working paper from Asst. Prof. Yana Gallen of Harris Public Policy revealed that female students regularly receive different messages than their male counterpartsones that often emphasize the importance of work-life balance, and potentially dissuade women from pursuing their intended career paths.
Released by the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics, the paper examines the results of a large-scale field experiment wherein undergraduate students sent online messages to 10,000 working professionals.
By randomizing male and female senders, Gallen and co-author Melanie Wasserman of UCLA tested whether gender influenced the type of information a student received. The answer was a resounding yes.
In contrast, the scholars found that virtually no gender difference existed in responses to questions emphasizing the competitiveness of workplace culture.
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Why We Still Have Gender Roles In Society
Even when we consciously believe that a woman has the right to opt-out of having children, have a thriving career, and/or wear what she pleases, we still have unconscious, implicit gender biases that tell us otherwise. This preserves the traditional gender roles in society.
Statistics from the administration of the Harvards Implicit Association Test demonstrate that, regardless of our stated beliefs, most of us pair the concept of male with the concept of career, and pair female with family. When the IAT jumbles them, our reaction times are slower. This demonstrates why gender roles in society remain.
For example, when given two categoriesMale/Career and Female/Familywe can sort words like laundry, entrepreneur, merchant, and siblings pretty quickly.
But change the categories to Male/Family and Female/Career, and the conscious mind has to course correct for the unconscious mind, which still yokes male with career and female with family. This slows down our reaction times. It also demonstrates our implicit gender biases.
Although we may not like it or consciously agree with it, most of us have a moderate or strong automatic male association when it comes to the workforce. Conversely, we associate females with the home and family. These implicit gender biases cement the gender roles in society that have been in place for centuries.
The Role Of Sex Vs Gender
Differences between men and women in terms of things-orientation and people-orientation seem to manifest very early on. A study published by City University London and University College London found that children as young as nine months old prefer to play with toys specific to their own gender. Dr Brenda Todd, a senior lecturer in psychology at City University said:
Biological differences give boys an aptitude for mental rotation and more interest and ability in spatial processing, while girls are more interested in looking at faces and better at fine motor skills and manipulating objects. When we studied toy preference in a familiar nursery setting with parents absent, the differences we saw were consistent with these aptitudes. Although there was variability between individual children, we found that, in general, boys played with male-typed toys more than female-typed toys and girls played with female-typed toys more than male-typed toys.
What we may be seeing here, then, is sex differences rather than gender differences influencing career decisions. Sex differences relate to male and female biology, while gender differences refer to the social roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that we consider appropriate for men and women.
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Gender Bias Affects Career Choice
Why do so few female students choose to study the sciences? Surveys of academic performance in science and math subjects in elementary, middle and high schools show that there is not much difference between boys and girls. This data indicates that this is not due to girls poor academic performance. For women, it is due to social prejudice and the lack of role models as they get older.
One of Tokyos middle and high schools for girls gives us a clue to solving this issue.
Read Acte Whitepaper: Career Development In The Early Grades
Colleen Ganley, a psychology professor at Florida State University, studies gender and education. In a recent study published in the American Educational Research Journal, she and her co-authors made some discoveries that may paint part of the picture. They noted a large gender gap in majors and fields of study believed to perpetuate bias against women. This means fewer women, compared to men, are choosing to pursue some high-earning professions such as engineering, economics, and other science and math-based careers.In the study, we were less interested in the gender bias and more in whether people perceived it. We found that these perceptionswhether they were reality or notpredicted whether we saw patterns of more or fewer women going into a particular field, she says.We dont know if women are taking this bias into account consciously or unconsciously but, if you think about it, a major where youre going to be one of the only females in a bunch of classes, making it potentially harder for you, is not one you may choose to pursue.
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Implement Regular Gender Bias Training
Sure, biases are a simple fact of life, but that doesnt mean they are set in stone. The best way to reduce unconscious gender bias is to learn about it and take action to alter your perception of biases for the better.
Start by informing your team of the different types of unconscious bias and then look for diversity and inclusion professionals or unconscious bias programs near you that will support your efforts. Not convinced you need training? Check out why these five companies offer unconscious bias training.
Gender And Career Choice
Men and women differ considerably in their career choices, and many factors contribute to these differences. Socialization experiences, which refer to the lifelong social learning experiences that people have when interacting with others, play a major role here. Parents, siblings, teachers, school guidance counselors, other adult role models, peers, the media, and many other sources greatly influence how individuals view themselves based on their gender.
From an early age, parents tend to treat boys and girls differently and encourage children to engage in gender-appropriate play and extracurricular activities . Teachers and other adult role models such as guidance counselors, extended family members, and family friends also act differently toward boys and girls and hold different expectations for children based on their gender. Boys are expected to be more rambunctious and physically active, whereas girls are expected to be more sensitive and sociable. Thus, people in childrens social environments reinforce and send consistent messages as to what is expected of them according to their gender.
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Gender Bias Still Exists In The Modern Workplace But Were Here To Help Stop It
As with any cultural transformation, removing gender bias in your workplace will take time, effort, and the right tools. Start by making unconscious assumptions conscious draw a spotlight on the unfair practices and procedures in place right now and then do what you can to combat them.
Still distributing bonuses based on qualitative performance feedback alone? Then use hard data to fill the gaps where gender bias sneaks in.
Noticed that your applicant pool is too homogenous? Then remove gendered slants from your job ads, resume screenings, and interview systems. Not sure how? Thats why we built
Headstart the worlds fight discrimination-fighting recruitment platform. Book your demo today, and start creating positive change not just talking about it.
Sample And Data Collection
We analyzed a representative sample of students from 39 randomly selected secondary schools in three regions of Spain: Catalonia, Galicia, and Madrid . The schools were representative of a wide range of socioeconomic conditions and school types .
All students enrolled at these schools in their final year of junior secondary education and in the first of 2 years of the pre-university course were invited to participate. A total of 4146 students from 13 schools in each region took part in this study. The questionnaires were administered during class time by members of the research team. Girls accounted for 50.3% of the participants and no gender differences were observed in the distribution of the sample. Mean age was 16.82 years . Overall, 87.2% of participants were of Spanish origin 3.37% were from other European countries while 9.40% were from countries in other parts of the world . In total, 74.2% of the adolescents were from a school located in an urban area, while 28.5% were from a school in a rural area. Over two-thirds of the participants engaged in sport or exercise in their free time, but the rate was significantly higher for boys than girls . The students had not participated in any careers guidance sessions before completing the questionnaire or received information about career opportunities in this field.
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