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Women, Competition, and Relative Performance

Another recent Knowledge@Wharton article considers whether women seek competitive work environments as actively as men — and whether that plays a role in their professional development. The findings indicate that women may shy away from competition — even when they know they can win. Additional findings:

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Another recent Knowledge@Wharton article considers whether women seek competitive work environments as actively as men — and whether that plays a role in their professional development. The findings indicate that women may shy away from competition — even when they know they can win. Additional findings:

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  • Twice as many men as women are likely to select a tournament setting rather than a non-competitive setting.
  • If participants are told only their raw score and not their relative ranking, “men are significantly more overconfident about their relative ranking.”
  • Women may be more risk-averse than men and more averse to receiving feedback on relative performance.

What do you think? How does this play into whether women reach the top?

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