Friday, October 4, 2013

Gender, Competition, and Business

Some studies have shown that the male brain generally is more hierarchical, goal oriented, and competitive as compared to the female brain. So how does this play out in the business world? An article published in the Journal of Labor Economics entitled “Performance Gender Gap: Does Competition Matter?” reported on studies by Evren Ors, Frédéric Palomino, and Eloïc Peyrache. These researchers discovered that in terms of competition, apparently a performance gender gap does exist. In a real-world setting with important payoffs at stake, study results were in line with the evidence from experimental research that finds that females tend to perform worse in more competitive contexts. This may have real consequences in the business world, as the women who had performed significantly better than the same men on France’s pass/fail, less-competitive national baccalauréat exam two years earlier, preformed more poorly than those same males on the highly competitive entrance exam for French business school HEC Paris. This meant that the pool of admitted candidates contained fewer females. Once admitted to HEC Paris, however, the females tended to outperform their male classmates. It appears that the entrance tournament-like-competitive contests favored the male brain over the female brain.

No comments: