Women tend to take more risks at the workplace when they are in the company of other women, suggests a new study.
Alison Booth, researcher at the Australian National University (ANU), tested whether single-sex classrooms in co-educational environments altered students' risk-taking attitudes.
"Given that risk attitudes can be shaped by the environment, changing the educational or training context could help address under-representation of women in certain areas," to a university statement quoted Booth as saying."This is why these findings are important. They show that risk-taking behaviour is not necessarily innate - it can be affected by the environment in which the individual is placed," she said.
"We designed a controlled experiment using first-year university students who made choices over real-stakes lotteries at two different dates. Students were randomly assigned to classes of three types: all female, all male, and co-educational. They were not allowed to change group subsequently. We found that on average women are less likely to make risky choices than men at both dates," said Booth.
However, after eight weeks in a single-sex environment, women were significantly more likely to choose the lottery than their counterparts in co-educational groups. Indeed, by week eight women in all-female groups behaved in a similar way to men.