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 Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

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: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>