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

Rose Sawka, 91, reaches out to her son Terry Sawka, on a daily visit through the window, from inside Acropolis Manor where a COVID-19 outbreak took hold on Jan 19. Rose was vaccinated for the virus on Jan. 20 and as of Feb. 25 has remained virus free. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
No increases of COVID-19 at Acropolis -16 residents now recovered

Vaccinations have helped to stabilize Prince Rupert long-term care facility virus numbers

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

BC Bus North was implemented under the NDP provincial government in 2018 when Greyhound cancelled services across northern BC. The transportation funding expires at the end of March 2021. (Photo: B.C. Transit)
BC Liberals call for immediate govt. renewal of BC Bus North funding

BC Liberals spent years ignoring need for better transportation in the North - Jennifer Rice, MLA

Prince Rupert Tourism is benefitting from funding for new welcome and wayfinding signage from the COVID-19 Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program. McClymont Park on the gateway into Prince Rupert is one of the first things tourists see entering the city by road. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
$695,000 Community Economic Recovery funds to benefit local organizations

Prince Rupert Tourism and Gitga’at Development Corporation to receive COVID-19 recovery funds

Wainwright Marine Services Ltd.’s “Ingenika” tugboat went missing in the Garner Canal area south and east of Kitimat on Feb. 11, resulting in two deaths and the rescue of a third man. (Wainwright Marine Photo)
Tug union demands Transport Canada protect workers along B.C. coast and rivers

ILWU makes safety demands following the deaths of two men and the rescue of a third

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

This month, a Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Most Read