News Flash: Cause of glass ceiling, lower pay, injustice against women discovered!

So why do women end up with all this junk to deal with?  The answer:   We underestimate ourselves!

A new study shows female managers are more than three times as likely as their male counterparts to underrate their bosses’ opinions of their job performance.

And the conclusion:

“Women have imposed their own glass ceiling, and the question is why,” said Scott Taylor, an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management who conducted the study.

And it turns out there’s an age difference; women over fifty are much more like to be among the underestimaters.  Thus:

”Younger women tended not to be as off-base in their predictions than middle-aged or senior women,” Taylor said.

Taylor said managers may need to learn better ways to communicate to female employees that they are valued. Women may need to learn how to better seek positive and critical feedback, he said.

Taylor says the findings could indicate why many women don’t rise to head companies or why there is a wage disparity between men and women.

This could all make one quite cross.  Female Science Professor points out that these results  are going to be presented today in Chicago at the annual Academy of Management conference; she remarks:

If anyone is going to be at this meeting in Chicago today and if it’s not too late, maybe someone can ask Professor Taylor if he has any alternative hypotheses that might also explain his data.

Here’s one alternative hypothesis:  there’s a common cause for lower prestige (position, pay) and lower expectations.  Women (and others) are, as we have discussed time and again, the subject of implicit biases that lead to a chronic underestimation of their value in the workplace.  Over time that becomes internalized.  It would be hard for it not to.

Anyway,  poor Taylor, he  may reckon his career will be helped by media attention.  And  media attention has focused on this.

2 thoughts on “News Flash: Cause of glass ceiling, lower pay, injustice against women discovered!

  1. Unfortunately, jj, I do not share your implicit optimism that his jumping to conclusions and it getting all the media attention that it does will actually be adverse for his career. It’s a great result, after all, that women are doing it to themselves (heard it before somehow).


  2. O, I didn’t mean to suggest it would be adverse. I really just meant to conjecture about why he went for these conclusions, which really are way beyond the data.

    In my own multidisciplinary environment it seems one’s colleagues frown upon this sort of thing. However, administrators love the attention, particularly attention for something that doesn’t offend the regents.

    It’s one of my big gripes that ‘our frauds’ (as we like to think of those who go in for greatly exaggerating the reach of their research) never get beyond the local news. Frauds at really good universities get written up in the NY Times. (Which is not to imply that those who appear there are all frauds.) Hence, on our worst days we worry that the university pours resources into work that is not only scientifically close to useless, but that also does nothing for our national standing.

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