Briefcase (Pixabay photo)

Briefcase (Pixabay photo)

Men who had ‘F’ school grades see same leadership prospects as women who got ‘As’: B.C. study

A more gaping difference was found when comparing men and women working as parents

Good grades in high school and post-secondary degrees are no match in combating the age-old gender gap in workplaces – especially during parenthood – according to a new study out of the University of British Columbia.

Yue Qian, UBC sociology assistant professor and co-author of the study, analyzed school transcripts and 11 years worth of career-oriented survey responses, dated between 1988 to 1998, from 5,000 people in the U.S. aged 57 to 64.

The study compared men and woman, as well as fathers and mothers, using the number of employees a person supervises or oversees as the measure of their leadership.

As high school GPA increased from zero to 4.0, the number of employees men oversaw increased from four to about 13, while women’s employees increased from about two to five.

ALSO READ: The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

A more gaping difference was found when comparing men and women working as parents: Fathers with failing grades in high school had the same leadership prospects as mothers who had an ‘A’ average.

As high school GPA increased from zero to 4.0, the number of supervised employees increased from four to about 19 for fathers but changed only slightly from about two-and-a-half to four for mothers.

The study didn’t specifically look to reasons why the drastic difference exists, but pointed to the wealth of research that already exists about gender disparity in leadership roles – synonymous with “the glass ceiling” and gender wage gap.

Data shows that women are still more likely to take parental or maternity leave before returning to work part-time. Race and gender diversity within executive boards in companies across North America are also still made up mostly of heterosexual white men.

In Canada, women made up only 43 of the 538 named executive officers among Canada’s 100 largest publicly traded corporations in 2020, down from 53 in 2019.

While two decades have passed since the career surveys were filled out by study participants, Qian expects to find similar trends when more recent data becomes available.

“Many gender research scholars have found that the ‘gender revolution’ has stalled in recent years, especially since the 1990s in the U.S.,” Qian said. “In Canada we find similar trends: the female employment rate, gender wage gaps, segregation of occupations and women’s access to leadership positions are all areas where it shows.”

The pandemic has furthered the wage gap between mothers and fathers, with restrictions on child care forcing mostly women to stay home. Most of the jobs lost during the height of the pandemic were in hospitality, food services or temporary jobs, which were predominately positions filled by women.

Qian recommended that schools include anti-sexist curriculum to reduce gender stereotypes and allow girls and boys to envision the same career options. The researcher also recommended that the federal government establish better work-family policies that encourage fathers to be the primary caregiver and for work organizations to implement stronger policies that reduce bias in hiring and promoting.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

Midway’s Boundary Expo Recreation Centre (above) is a mainstay of the local community and the Boundary area more broadly, according to Village officials. Photo: Submitted
West Boundary arena to get equipment overhaul thanks to provincial grant

The funds are being put toward new refrigeration equipment at Midway’s Boundary Expo Rec. Centre

A member of the Avalanche Canada South Rockies field team gathers important snowpack data that is used to produce daily avalanche forecasts for the region. Photo by Jennifer Coulter.
Warming temperatures increase avalanche risk heading into the weekend

Warm temperatures impact conditions, human behaviour

The City of Grand Forks is named as a defendant in a lawsuit by former Grand Forks Fire/Rescue volunteer, Leslie Cleverly. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
City of Grand Forks responds to lawsuit by former city firefighter

The City’s lawyers roundly denied allegations made by the plaintiff, Leslie Cleverly

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

Third-grader Hudson Adrian (left) on Wednesday, Feb. 24, poses with fourth-graders Josh Hlookoff (centre) and Jaylen Dekteroff at Hutton Elementary’s Pink Shirt Day parade. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
WATCH — Grand Forks’ elementaries support Pink Shirt Day

The annual celebration of kindness puts paid to the idea that bullying was ever cool

(Government of B.C.)
CBEEN launches Columbia Basin-based social enterprise Canada’s Non-profit Outdoor Learning Store. Photo courtesy www.outdoorlearningschool.ca
CBEEN’s Outdoor Learning Store expands nationwide

Social enterprise provides educators with access to outdoor learning resources

Backcountry skiers are dwarfed by the mountains as they make their way along a mountain ridge near McGillivray Pass Lodge located in the southern Chilcotin Mountains of British Columbia, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. Avalanche Canada has issued a special warning to people who use the backcountry in the mountains of western Alberta and eastern British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Avalanche Canada special warning for mountains in western Alberta, eastern B.C.

Avalanche Canada also says everyone in a backcountry party needs essential rescue gear

A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)
Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

Most Read