What’s Holding Women Back in the Workplace? – By NIKKI WALLER AND JOANN S. LUBLIN September 30, 2015

Despite support at the top, gender equality is a long way off at most U.S. companies. A study by Lean In and McKinsey reveals why—and what employees and companies can do about it.

A new LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. study on Women in the Workplace finds that corporate diversity initiatives aren't helping women break the glass ceiling. WSJ's Shelby Holliday takes a closer look at the reasons why and other key takeaways from the data. Photo: iStock/Getty Images

A new LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. study on Women in the Workplace finds that corporate diversity initiatives aren’t helping women break the glass ceiling. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday takes a closer look at the reasons why and other key takeaways from the data. Photo: iStock/Getty Images

Why aren’t there more women in the upper ranks of corporate America?

Cue the broken record: Women rein in career plans to spend more time caring for family. What’s more, they are inherently less ambitious than men and don’t have the confidence that commands seats in the C-suite.

Not so fast.

Something else is happening on the way to the top. Women aren’t abandoning their careers in large numbers; motherhood, in fact, increases their appetite for winning promotions; and women overall don’t lack for ambition and confidence that they can take on big jobs. Yet when asked whether they want a top role in their companies or industries, a majority of women say they would rather not grab the brass ring.

Those are the findings of a major new study of women in the workplace conducted by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. The research, which gathered data on promotions, attrition and trajectories from 118 companies and surveyed nearly 30,000 men and women, is among the largest efforts to capture attitudes and data about working women. The study involved major North American companies and North American units of global ventures headquartered elsewhere. It reveals sharply different views of the workplace, in which women say they experience a playing field at work that is anything but level.

Roughly equal numbers of men and women say they want to be promoted—78% and 75%, respectively. But as men’s desire for big jobs intensifies in the course of their careers, only 43% of women said they want to be a top executive, compared with 53% of men. Perhaps most startling, 25% of women feel their gender has hindered their progress, a perception that grows more acute once women reach senior levels.

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The Mars and Venus question – The Economist Aug 2nd 2014 | From the print edition

A variation in the cognitive abilities of the two sexes may be more about social development than gender stereotypes

THAT men and women think differently is now widely accepted. Why they do so is another matter. One possible explanation is that in the time of hunting and gathering different skills were required: men spent time away from camp, tracking animals and fighting off intruders, and women needed social skills to bring up children. Yet there are bound to be many other factors at work for this variation to survive into modern times. The latest research suggests that living standards and access to education probably bear more responsibility for cognitive disparity between men and women than genes, nursery colours or the ability to catch a ball.

Previous studies have shown that male and female brains are wired differently. Last year Ragini Verma of the University of Pennsylvania used sophisticated imaging techniques to show variations between men and women in dominant connections in the cerebrum, the part of the brain that does the thinking. Dr Verma speculated this could help explain why women tend to have better memories, social adeptness and an improved ability to multitask.

Now Daniela Weber of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, and her colleagues, suggest why such changes come about and, importantly, how the differences can change. The group’s analysis, reported this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that the cognitive performance of women—much more so than men—benefits from factors such as greater employment opportunities, increased economic prosperity and better health.

A case of misremembering

Ms Weber and her colleagues based their work on interviews with 17,000 men and 14,000 women carried out by an initiative called the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, conducted in 2006-07. The interviewees, aged 50 to 84, lived in 13 European countries and were subjected to three tests for cognitive performance. They were grouped into three geographic regions: northern Europe, central Europe and southern Europe .

For each country a regional development index (RDI) was adopted, an amalgam of GDP, family size, infant mortality, life expectancy and national education levels. These criteria were selected to represent a country’s educational and living standards for the birth years of the interviewees, and then compared with participants’ cognitive performance.

That performance was determined using tests for episodic memory (the retention of words in memory), category fluency (naming examples of, say, animals) and numeracy. Women are expected to outperform men in episodic memory and men do better in numeracy. Neither sex is thought dominant in category fluency.

Episodic memory matters because it is linked to emotion. The brain remembers unconnected words by linking them to a memory or imagined situation. It is the emotion of the memory that supposedly helps the brain remember the word. Whether women actually are more empathetic than men is debatable. It may be that society has expected such capacity from the principal child-carers for so long that it has become ingrained. The same goes for numeracy. Is science dominated by men because they are better at it, or because it was a career choice not widely open to women before the late 20th century?

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These Are The 3 Cities Where Women Earn The Most Money – Posted: 02/05/2014 10:46 am EST Updated: 02/06/2014 11:59 am ESTw

These Are The 3 Cities Where Women Earn The Most Money

When President Obama called the wage gap “an embarrassment” in his State of the Union address, we had to agree. But could we just be living in the wrong zip code?

While women in the U.S. make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns on average, the wage gap fluctuates depending on professional fieldeducation level and ethnicity. But new data also shows that location is a major factor in women’s earnings.

Forbes analyzed data from financial literacy site NerdWallet, which tracks the median earnings of men and women in various metropolitan areas, and compiled a list of the best-paying cities for women. As Forbes writer Susan Adams pointed out, the cities where women earn the most are also places with a higher-than-average cost of living, but in no city do women earn 100 percent of what their male counterparts do.

Click the link below to see the three cities where women earn the most: 


Head over to Forbes to see the other seven cities that made the top 10 — and the one that ranked worst.

Why Women Workers Are Risk-Averse—and That’s Okay Bryce Covert on November 26, 2013 – 11:21 AM ET

Dice roll

In a recent study, Freakonomics guest writers John List and Uri Gneezy set out to prove what they posit is a big reason women are still paid just seventy-seven cents, on average, for every dollar a man makes. “Personally,” they write, “we think that much of it boils down to this: men and women have different preferences for competitiveness, and at least part of the wage gaps we see are a result of men and women responding differently to incentives.” To demonstrate this, they posted ads for a job opening on Craigslist, and when people applied, they told half of them that the job would be paid a flat rate of $15 an hour but the other half that they would get $12 an hour and then have to compete with a coworker for a $6 per hour bonus. The authors write that “both ads would pay workers and average of $15 per hour,” neglecting to explain what would happen if a worker were to lose out to the other every time and miss that bonus.

The two report that women were 70 percent less likely to want the job with a “competitive pay scale”—and conclude that women just don’t have the same desire to chase reward. But what they would call “competitive” I would call risky: one job offered steady pay, while the other varied depending on a variety of factors. One of those factors may have been how the boss viewed female workers. Women have every reason to be averse to a situation that might pit them against a man, knowing that there is still lots of implicit bias against them. Employees would have been putting part of their paychecks at risk, and women—logically—declined to take that risk.

Article continues: http://www.thenation.com/blog/177361/why-women-workers-are-risk-averse-and-thats-okay