That seems to be the conclusion of a couple of researchers at Stanford University’s business school. Their study, published earlier this year, concludes that there are no significant differences in income, promotions, or job satisfaction between professional men and women. The reason why more men are in higher positions and earn more money is quite simple: Men work harder and are more ambitious.
Researchers Charles A. O’Reilly III and Olivia A. O’Neill found that the paucity of women in top corporate jobs does not suggest any sex discrimination. “The picture is one of individuals who are making trade-offs between flexibility and career attainment…At the highest organizational levels, players are typically quite similar in terms of their ability. Those of lesser skill have been eliminated. At the highest levels what differentiates the winners from losers is not ability, which has been equilibrated, but effort — how hard the contestants are willing to work…Individuals who are more loyal, work longer hours, and are willing to sacrifice for the organization are advantaged. Success is not limited to males, but is dependent on choosing to play in the tournament.”
“Women, more than men, face difficult choices, especially in the work-life balance domain,” they write. “In this sense, their careers, more than men, reflect complication choices. Insofar as we define ‘careers’ narrowly in terms of promotion and income attainment, any person — male or female — who chooses to put in less effort, is likely to be disadvantaged. In our view, this does not constitute a ‘failure’ but a choice not to play that particular version of the career game.”
The men who don’t do as well in the workplace happen to be more feminine, just as the women who do the worse happen to be more masculine. As this report states: “Masculine-identified males are more likely to report working longer hours, attach more importance to achieving promotions, be more willing to relocate, and be less likely to be voluntarily unemployed.”
Does it really come down to the fact that men simply work harder and are hungrier for success? What does everybody think about this really provocative conclusion?