Gender Equality: Not an Inevitable Deduction in All Fields

Women make up about 47% of the employees, however; they still are understated at the peak stages of businesses, governments, etc.

Numerous factors have been proposed to justify this ‘leaky pipeline’ impact such as responsibility towards family, biological differences, etc.

Researchers led by Sara Clifton (the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) have established a new mathematical model to examine the rise of women through professional ladders. The model factors in the comparative roles of partiality and homophily (individuals tending to seek others like themselves) in a number of fields. Unlike previous works, the new model forecasts that gender equality is not inescapable and interference might be required in several fields to attain balance.

To authenticate the model, the group investigated a new record of sex fractionation for 16 professional chains of commands. They computed the influence of 2key decision-makers as individuals climb through hierarchies: those considered for promotions and those granting them. Previous researches have examined how gender partiality can impact those who grant promotions. “But few prior models have considered that people do self-segregate by gender,” states Clifton. “If I am applying to a job and the interviewing committee has no women, I might feel uncomfortable and look for another organization that’s more balanced.”

The researchers discovered that fields with considerably strong homophily (including engineering and nursing) are likely to become male/female-dominated. Professions with prejudice against females, such as math or computer science, might not reach gender equality at the greatest levels of management without external intervention.

“One of the major surprises,” told Clifton, “were the fields where gender bias and people’s homophilic instincts don’t have a big effect such as medicine and law. We predict they will move towards parity about as fast as turnover will allow.”

These discoveries could aid in targeting assets to the professions where gender equality is not unavoidable. “If you can identify what the main bottlenecks are, you can target those bottlenecks to reach gender parity,” Clifton stated.

For example, in professions having a prejudice against females, recruitment teams could be taught in unconscious partiality. For jobs with solid homophily, recruitment teams could vigorously employ females to apply for a promotion or make the understated sex more evident within the particular field.