Gender bias is kept alive by those who think it is dead

Research: Greater representation of women does not automatically lead to equal treatment.

by Stephen Jones

Business leaders can hardly be accused of ignoring the fact that inequality exists within the organisations they run. Over the past few years - before the COVID-19 pandemic at least - firms were (slowly) making progress in increasing the number of women in senior and management roles. 

However, nowhere did progress happen as fast as in board representation, where the threat of legislation resulted in women’s share of board positions rising from 12.5 per cent in 2010 to over 30 per cent last year.

Almost all of the new female directors were non-executive, but the logic went that having more women around the table would erode the ingrained biases that have held them back from senior positions. Unfortunately, new research indicates that is not the case. 

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