A gender bias around “confidence” holds women back from work, according to a study.
The word can mask discriminatory hiring and promotion policies, a joint study by University College Dublin (UCD) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) shows.
“It appears to be constructive, well-meaning feedback for women, but the evidence suggests it’s an effective way to obscure discrimination and inequality—often unconsciously,” said Darren T. Baker, assistant professor of economics and society at the Michael Smurfit School of UCD.
“It’s gender specific, it’s aimed at women in general, and it’s a word that’s overwhelming. It’s non-specific. It doesn’t really say exactly what women need to change about themselves.”
Interviews with 66 senior UK executives, male and female, conducted by Dr. Baker and Juliet Bourke, a professor at UNSW in Australia, found that women were penalized in job interviews and salary reviews because of a perceived lack of “trust”.
“It’s a word that’s used more by women, and women, for the most part, think they lack it,” said Dr. Baker. “Whereas men never talked about themselves like that.
“In the interviews we had, women kept talking about situations in the past where men around them not only got promoted, but because of their behavior they got higher salary offers in the workplace.”
The study comes ahead of Ireland’s first-ever gender pay gap reporting season, which starts tomorrow.
Analysis by the Irish Independent found that men in Irish companies operating in the UK earned around 16 per cent more than women in 2021, measured by average hourly wages.
A larger survey conducted by Universum, the research arm of IrishJobs, found a similar gap in annual salary conditions, with the largest differences being between IT professionals.
Under the new legislation, around 660 Irish-based companies – those with more than 250 employees – will have to report on differences in pay and bonuses at their Irish operations in December.
The semi-public company An Post is the first company to publish its report under the new law, finding a zero gender pay gap for the second year running.
As of June this year, women at the company received an average of 0.86 percent more than men, a slight increase from 2021.
However, men earn 8.2 percent more in bonuses than women. Women make up just 25 percent of An Post’s workforce and 13 percent of postal workers.
“Equality at all levels is a critical part of our business strategy and An Post is undergoing a major cultural shift to build a workforce that reflects the communities we serve every day and a workforce where every colleague at An Post fully embraces and feels completely a part of it,” said Managing Director David McRedmond.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Ireland, which has voluntarily published pay gap data for the past two years, has made it into a Paris Stock Exchange equality index.
It is the only Irish company on the list. Men at the bank received an average of 23.8 percent more than women last year.
https://www.independent.ie/business/jobs/women-are-being-penalised-in-interviews-and-salary-reviews-because-of-a-perceived-lack-of-confidence-study-finds-42183721.html Women are punished in job interviews and salary reviews for a perceived lack of “confidence,” a study finds