Price of Bias Against Women in Leadership

Updated: Feb 17, 2019

How much does it cost to prevent women from boardrooms?


In job specification of engineering jobs, there are list of soft skills required by the job candidates. These are verbal and written communication, problem-solving, teamwork and leadership. We used http://gender-decoder.katmatfield.com website to test if these keywords indicated any gender code behind. The result of our experiment showed that none of these words included any feminine-coded words, however, leadership was indicated as a ‘masculine-coded’ word. Having bias glasses on, leadership is perceived as a skill of men.


Let’s do another experiment and google the word “leader”. How many women can you see in the images? I see men, men, and more men. In the world of STEM, having only less than 20% of women workforce plus having a bias against their leadership skills reduces the number of women in leadership significantly at these workplaces. However, researches show that women leaders mentor and bring more leaders to their organisations.


In the Leveling the Law for Women and Girls by 2030 Forum by Global Citizens and UN Women in United Nations General Assembly this year, the South African Actress Pearl Thusi mentioned the importance of women empowerment with these words :


“We girls must move each other forward. If more women were in economy, it would add a new US and China to the world! ” - Pearl Thusi

Bias against women in leadership results shrinking our resources, losing our vision and preventing innovation. Who can afford it today? - Diversein

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