Most women prefer less competitive jobs, take fewer risks: Study | sex and relationships | Hindustan Times
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Most women prefer less competitive jobs, take fewer risks: Study

Women instinctively apply for jobs that do not involve a lot of competition, partly explaining why only a few of them make it to the top positions, finds a new research.

sex and relationships Updated: May 13, 2016 16:31 IST
IANS
Women At Work

Women prefer smaller competitions, whereas men seek larger competitions, which are typically associated with higher monetary rewards, suggests a new study.(Istock)

Women instinctively apply for jobs that do not involve a lot of competition, partly explaining why only a few of them make it to the top positions, finds a new research.

Women prefer smaller competitions, whereas men seek larger competitions, which are typically associated with higher monetary rewards, the study said.

The size of a competition — such as the number of applicants to a particular job or the number of people vying for a monetary reward — decides who enters the competition.

Read: Does India really have gender equality? Story in numbers

“These patterns of findings can contribute to a better understanding of gender inequality in the workforce,” said Kathrin Hanek, the study’s lead author from University of Michigan in the US.

“The gender difference in preferences may in part explain pay gaps and the underrepresentation of women in particular fields or at the helm of large organisations,” Hanek noted.

The findings appeared in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

The difference between the genders can be partially attributed to women feeling more comfortable in smaller competitions.

Read: Gender Bender: How India discovered role reversal through pop culture

The researchers found consistent gender differences in the preference for smaller versus larger competitions across a variety of different competition contexts.

For instance, one study examined women’s and men’s real decisions to enter a small (10 competitors) or large (100 competitors) word-formation task competition.

The results indicated that 53 percent of women but only 41 percent of men preferred the small competition.

“This research by no means blames women for gender inequality but rather uncovers a novel environmental factor that might contribute to inequality, beyond the well-documented effects of gender biases and discrimination,” Stephen Garcia, associate professor University of Michigan.

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