Two studies have come out which suggest that the ongoing cycle of women being told they’re too crap to do jobs feeds into them feeling too intimidated to do those jobs. Which, in turn, means women just don’t do those jobs and oh comes the horrible realisation we’re living in a world interminably built and made and run by men.
The first study comes from data taken by EDF Energy and shows a third of girls are convinced they’re not smart enough to become scientists, meanwhile boys are five times more likely than girls to want to be engineers.
The second set of research from Duke University consists of two studies. The first looked into the perceptions of 80 participants and found that they thought ‘creativity’ is more associated with masculine traits like competitiveness, risk-taking, ambition and daring than with feminine traits like co-operation, understanding and support.
The second study had 169 participants read about an architect or a fashion designer. At random, some were told the professional was male, others were told they were female. They then rated the work the professional did on its creativity, originality and outside-the-box thinking. The upshot was that while both female and male fashion designers would be rated as equally creative, the male architect would be rated as more creative than the female one.
It’s worth saying that plenty of women can be risk-taking and plenty of men can be understanding at work, and that we don’t have to conform to what’s expected of us. But then, if people are going to, upon finding out we’re women, immediately assume we’re idiot bores too scared to do jobs, then how will we ever get those jobs or manage to do those jobs?
In short? We can take note of these reports, but we can’t let them upset us, because then we’d all be unemployable AND crying all the time. The solution is to encourage and support women of all ages to understand they can do just as well as men.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.