Do women just not want to compete?

The gender pay gap is still shockingly large – 22% in the UK according to the National Statistics.

There are various reasons put forward for this (aside from outright discrimination), for example, the years taken out of many women’s careers to look after children. Another possible explanation lies in how comfortable women feel in competitive situations.

According to this new paper by David Gill and Victoria Prowse, women respond very differently to experiencing good and bad luck in a competitive environment. Winning or losing in the past has a larger impact on women, and affects their choices in the future. Women appear to be averse to competition, and experience greater pain in losing. A possible reason why women don’t compete as effectively in the workplace?

An interesting question is why women feel this way – biology or repressive social norms…?

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