Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How pride and prejudice blur men’s view of the glass cliff

06.09.2004


Accepting a fact as scientific is not a simple matter of whether the methodology is sound - what matters is whether the science that underpins it is compatible with our stereotypes and prejudices.



That is the key finding of a new study produced as part of ESRC research into social identity and discrimination by Professor Alex Haslam, of the School of Psychology, University of Exeter.

Professor Haslam and Dr Michelle Ryan, also at Exeter, analysed reactions to previous research into women who have managed to break through the so-called ’glass ceiling’ into company boardrooms. This had found that those women who do make it are more likely than men to find themselves on a ’glass cliff’, meaning their positions are risky or precarious. The ’glass cliff’ research also showed that companies doing badly are more likely to appoint a woman to the board - but once performance picks up, other women are less likely to be made directors.


Today (Monday, September 6) in a presentation at the British Academy Festival of Science, in Exeter, Professor Haslam says analysis of reactions to this earlier research found that what we perceive as scientific is clouded by our own viewpoints.

A survey on the BBC website found that women tended to believe in the ’glass cliff’ effect. Men, however, were generally antagonistic to the notion, with one describing it as ’crap science’, and another saying he was ’disgusted’ by the research. Professor Haslam says: "We are more readily seduced by ’facts’ that emerge as a product of ’science-like’ science.

And this is especially true if those facts bolster, rather than threaten our sense of who we are and our place in the world. "We should be particularly wary of those scientific ’facts’ that conform to stereotypes - not because they are less likely to be true, but rather because we are less likely to reject them as impostors when they are false. "Perhaps too, we should be more open to science that does not reinforce prejudices, such as The Glass Cliff study. This is not because it is more likely to be true, but rather because we are more likely to reject it as false when it is not."

According to the online survey, 17 per cent both of males and females believed women were more suited to dealing with a crisis and more willing to take risks. Around 20 per cent of women believed that their sex was singled out for inferior positions in companies, whereas only four per cent of men held this view. And 18 per cent of the women thought that men in senior positions preferred to hire other men for ’cushy’ jobs. None of the men surveyed took this view, however.

Seventeen per cent of women thought they were seen as more expendable than men, as compared with none of the men believing that. Women have fewer opportunities than men and therefore accept riskier positions, according to 31 per cent of women, but just eight per cent of men. However, only three per cent of women thought that the women were not picked for precarious leadership positions, as compared with half of the men.

Becky Gammon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>