The Sunday Telegraph
Female staff ‘conditioned’ to feel less entitled than men
WOMEN are paid less and fail to progress in their careers because they have been “socially conditioned” to feel less entitled than men, a report has found.
The study, published in the run-up to International Women’s Day on March 8, has uncovered a deep-rooted “unentitled mindset” which is driving persistent inequalities in gender pay and female career progression.
Published by educational charity The Female Lead, the report found current workplace initiatives had limited effects because they were based in part on outdated presumptions about what women wanted. Citing the perception that motherhood shifts a woman’s professional identity to the backseat, the report reveals that women suffer from “persistent bias” when returning from maternity leave, and are “penalised” for trying to fit work around family life.
The research, led by Dr Terri Apter, Cambridge University psychologist, also found that women adversely suffered from the “mental load” of having to juggle work with the complex daily organisation of caring and household responsibilities.
Although the study began before the Covid outbreak, the authors suggested it should be a “catalyst for change”, with remote working having been “normalised” and the myth “busted” that people who worked flexibly were less efficient.
Dr Apter said: “A crucial aspect of the ‘unentitled mindset’ is that it is not just something that impacts women in their work. When we looked closer at the concept, we found it at the root of many troubles throughout women’s lives and a vital part of what keeps women in a less privileged position in society.”