Men and Women in the Workplace

There’s a new article in Alternet that covers some familiar ground regarding the pay gap, but also some new studies– and draws out an important point:

However, a growing number of studies show that women are more likely than men to be devoted to their employers and to see hard work as the best way to get ahead. But women, conditioned from an early age to be communal and “nice,” are generally hesitant to boast about their efforts and are less likely than men to push for raises and promotions. In a workplace that rewards aggressiveness and self-promotion, women often go unrecognized for their contributions.

A 2004 study conducted by International Survey Research measured the attitudes and behaviors men and women displayed at the workplace and found a noteworthy discrepancy between the priorities of male and female employees. Female executives were primarily concerned with the well-being of the company, smooth employee relations and a well-run workplace. Men cared much more about getting ahead.

This is important because it seems reasonable to suppose that employees who put a company’s good first should be preferable to those out for themselves. *If* that’s right, then employers are systematically rewarding the wrong behaviour. So there’s good reason for employers to change, just on pure business grounds– even if they don’t care about gender equity.