Gender Equality: In the news, but still not in practice

Gender inequality makes female leadership challenging, equal pay rare, limits career possibilities, results in lower corporate ROI... and that's just in business. It starts earlier than you think. Did you know that young girls do not see themselves as smart enough and that they don't associate 'brilliance' with their own gender regardless of the fact that boys and girls have equal IQs?

A recent study "Gender stereotypes about intellectual ability emerge early and influence children’s interests", by Lin Bian, Sarah-Jane Leslie, and Andrei Cimpian (January 27, 2017) had two major findings about children's perception of brilliance:

  1. By the age of 6, girls were less likely than boys to believe that members of their gender are “really, really smart”
  2. 6- and 7-year-old girls avoided participating in activities that were labeled for children who are “really, really smart”

Interestingly, there was no significant correlation with the girls' perception of school achievement and their perception of brilliance, as pointed out by Jess Hennessey in her article about the study. But you must watch this report "Get Smart: Girls May See Boys as Smarter By Age Six" by Megyn Kelly, NBC News, on this study when she sat down with the researchers, children and their parents on July 9, 2017 and repeated their study. You will be surprised.

Gender Bias and Stereotyping still prevalent

Gender bias (conscious and unconscious) and stereotypes are limiting our girls. How do we stop this when they are still being endorsed, advocated and promoted by millenials – you would think they would know better. Google, with its strong Diversity policy,was quick to fire James Damore for "perpetuating gender stereotypes" in his anti-diversity manifesto, which in addition, "advanced incorrect assumptions about gender". The outrage is global, but will it make a difference? Here is a sampling of the immediate reaction.

Google Fires Author of Divisive Memo on Gender Differences (Bloomberg Technolgy, by MarkBergen and Ellen Huet, August 8, 2017)

Google CEO: Anti-diversity memo was 'offensive and not OK' (CNN Tech, by Laurie Segall, August 8, 2017)

Fired Google employee behind anti-diversity memo says he’s ‘exploring all possible legal remedies’ (CNBC, August 8, 2017)

Google fires employee behind anti-diversity memo (The Globe and Mail, by David Ingram and Ishita Palli, August 8, 2017)

Google firing sparks debate over sexism in Silicon Valley (The Globe and Mail, by Tamsin McMahon - U.S. Correspondent, August 8-9, 2017)

Google fires employee behind anti-diversity memo for 'perpetuating gender stereotypes' (The Telegraph UK, August 8, 2017)

Note to employees from CEO Sundar Pichai (Google, Sundar Pichai CEO, GOOGLE, August 8, 2017)

Google CEO slams memo on gender as employee reportedly fired (Yahoo News, The Canadian Press, August 8, 2017 )

How do you build a more diverse tech company? It starts at the top (CBC News, by Matthew Braga, August 8-9 2017)

Sexual Harassment in the Tech Industry: Why Now? What Now? (National Centere for Women Information Technology, by Catherine Ashcraft and Beth Quinn, August 9, 2017)


The Gender Gap is Growing

The status quo of women is slipping backward.

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Gender Gap closing predictions over the last few years, have increased – it will take longer: in 2015, WEF predicted 2133; in 2017, WEF predicted 2186; and in 2018, WEF predicted 2234.

The World Economic Forum gives us some scary numbers in 2016. But the newer numbers are worse.

The 168 years (or 8.5 generations) from 2016 that the World Economic Forum expects the Gender Gap to close, is an average. Take a look at North America. It’s the only region going backwards. As far as the economic differences between men and women go – from income to labour force participation – North America has been regressing rather than moving forward in recent years.

In South Asia, women face a wait of 1000 years or 50 generations, but it is moving forward.


Global Gender Pay Gap

A lot is being said and promised about gender pay equity, but the truth is that not much has changed. Take a look and get a reality check.

How are the gender statistics in Europe and how do they fare in equal pay for equal work or equal pay for work of equal value? Take a look at the Gender Statistics in the European Union and then follow the links in the article Gender Pay Gap In Europe (Social Europe, by Alexandra Scheele, August 2, 2017) to discover the not so progressive answers. In 2015, the majority of the EU countries (for which data are available) recorded a higher gender pay gap (in absolute terms) in the private sector than in the public sector. This might be due to the fact that within the public sector, in most countries, employees are protected by collective pay agreements and other similar contracts establishing pay. The gender pay gap varied in the private sector from 6.0 % in Romania to 24.6 % in Germany, and in the public sector from -6.8 % in Cyprus to 22.5 % in Bulgaria.

Serena Williams: How Black Women Can Close the Pay Gap (Fortune, Serena Williams, July 31, 2017)

Facebook's Sandberg calls for new policies to boost women's pay (Reuters, July 30, 2017)

Hong Kong Gender Pay Gap Double Singapore, Half Korea's (Bloomberg Businessweek, by Wai Yi Shawna Kwan, July 31, 2017)

Yahoo’s New Male CEO Will Make Double Marissa Mayer’s Salary (Fortune, by Jen Wieczner, March 13, 2017)

TED Talk Why women should tell the stories of humanity (Jude Kelly, October 2016)

Closing the gender gap: How we can prepare our daughters for the negotiation backlash (The Globe and Mail, by Kristene Quan, July 23, 2015)

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