The Paula Principle

Networking: PP4 and research success

I was very intrigued by Sarah Reardon‘s piece in Nature, on now networks influence women’s success in science.  It was tweeted by Athene Donald, who knows a thing or two herself about networking and science, and whose valuable tweets I've followed for sometime . The piece is a powerful illustration of Paula Principle factor 4, the influence of vertical networks.  It took me back, almost nostalgically, to the turn of the century when with John Field and others I was directly engaged in promoting the notion of social capital as a useful tool of analysis.  The unsurprising finding is how often women working in scientific teams have found their contributions ignored or unrecognised.  The more contentious issue arising…
Read More

The GEI and a presentation puzzle

Yesterday was International Women's Day, so the airwaves were humming with news, reminders of where there has been some/no progress, encouragements and disappointments. In the spirit of international exchanges I thought I'd just focus on one source of comparative information which relates to my recurrent theme of the under-recognition of women's competences. The EU's Gender Equality Index was flagged up by Laeticia Thissen in her excellent Social Europe piece. It covers the domains you'd expect: work, money, power, health, time and knowledge, and is a trove of . The indices inevitably give only a broad and partial picture but the data provides a great platform for identifying where more needs…
Read More

Wellbeing and careers: OECD work on social performance

There's quite a debate brewing on how we should think of companies: are they purely economic entities that should not deviate from their goal of financial 'efficiency' and answer only to their shareholders (of course within legal limits); or are they social units which have a wider set of 'stakeholders' - their employees, local communities, society as a whole? I was intrigued to come across a recent OECD publication which suggests that the OECD is firmly in the latter camp. The Policy Brief based on a longer Working Paper, is on Measuring the Social Performance of Firms through the Lens of the OECD Well-being Framework, and makes a substantial contribution…
Read More

Mea culpa: how the PP neglected age

Increasingly I'm having to accept that in the Paula Principle book I left out a major angle, namely the way the PP operates over the full adult life, and not merely at work. I'm now working on a book on how to model the life course as a whole, and so have become sensitised to the way in which inequalities at work affect the (increasingly long) periods people have after they finish paid work. But I should certainly have paid it more attention when thinking then about the PP. The most recent prompt came from a piece by the FT journalist Claer Barrett. Her always interesting contributions to the weekend…
Read More

Extreme PP: the Korean case

When I wrote the PP book, now nearly five years ago, South Korea was already the extreme example of the Paula Principle. On the education side young Korean women had shot up the OECD table of tertiary level achievement; but at work their qualifications gained little recognition, and the gender pay gap remained one of the biggest. A startling article from the New York Times reports on a wave of anti-feminism. Young male Koreans are turning their anger on women, who they see as depriving them of their life chances - in spite of the evidence that in their country above almost every other young women are unable to convert…
Read More

It’s sooo slooow: IFS on closing the GPG

The Institute for Fiscal Studies is running a massive study on inequality, funded by the Nuffield Foundation under the guidance of Nobel prizewinner Angus Deaton. The review will run for some time; its scope is admirably ambitious, covering themes such as family, employment, attitudes to inequality, tax, trade and several others. It is already a huge source of policy-relevant information, and promises to be a landmark. Naturally gender figures widely in the review as a whole, and the latest report, by Alison Andrew and colleagues, deals with gender inequality at work. It is called 'The more things change the more they stay the same'. The title is suitably wry; it…
Read More

Claudia Goldin and greedy jobs

Writing the PP as a non-expert on gender and employment I was very impressed by the work of the American economist Claudia Goldin. Her extensive empirical analysis of the reasons for pay gaps illuminated issues such as the role of occupational segregation - including the very striking fact that countries known for getting closest to gender equality - the Scandinavians - showed high levels of segregation, with women piling into human-oriented services such as nursing. This surprised me, though it is of course partly due to the fact that in those egalitarian countries the financial penalty for nursing rather than banking is much lower. The choices seem sensible ones, if…
Read More

Flexibility and careers

In the PP I argue that one of the key changes - if not the key change - needed for a fairer recognition of women's competences is in the way we think about careers: getting away from the model of full-time continuous employment with progression along a linear ladder. Surely, you may say, this is disappearing out of the window - kept open to let the coronavirus out. Well, Timewise has just published its annual review of flexible working. In 2020 there was a big jump in the overall proportion of jobs offered on a flexible basis, from 17% to 24%. Progress has not been sustained at the same rate,…
Read More

Who participates in E&T: the F/M gap…

A recent piece by Petra Ahrens and Lise Rolandsen Agustin in Social Europe addressed gender equality in European institutions. They showed that there has quite strong progress towards numerical equality in the European Parliament; but this simple top-level statistic disguises how institutional mechanisms operate to sideline the issue. In particular: Gender equality is still habitually misunderstood as a ‘women’s issue’—often in a way which essentialises identity—or defensively restricted to its ‘business case’. Many MEPs continue to see gender equality as a niche with little to do with other policy domains and thus commitment to gender equality remains limited in a lot of committees and political groups. In addition, the growing…
Read More

International GPG scorecard

I'm something of a sucker for international comparisons. As it happens I'm also highly sceptical of many international ranking tables, which often court the publicity that comes from such ranking by overstretching the intrinsic validity of their measures. The Fawcett Society and Kings College's Global Institute for Women's Leadership have combined to produce Bridging the Gap an interesting set of case studies on gender pay gap reporting. The report centres round a score card which is used to rank the six participating countries. Happily it does so in a way which seems to me reasonable and helpful. The countries are Australia, South Africa, Spain, France, Sweden and the UK. I'll…
Read More

Networking: PP4 and research success

I was very intrigued by Sarah Reardon‘s piece in Nature, on now networks influence women’s success in science.  It was tweeted by Athene Donald, who knows a thing or two herself about networking and science, and whose valuable tweets I've followed for sometime . The piece is a powerful illustration of Paula Principle factor 4, the influence of vertical networks.  It took me back, almost nostalgically, to the turn of the century when with John Field and others I was directly engaged in promoting the notion of social capital as a useful tool of analysis.  The unsurprising finding is how often women working in scientific teams have found their contributions ignored or unrecognised.  The more contentious issue arising…
Read More

The GEI and a presentation puzzle

Yesterday was International Women's Day, so the airwaves were humming with news, reminders of where there has been some/no progress, encouragements and disappointments. In the spirit of international exchanges I thought I'd just focus on one source of comparative information which relates to my recurrent theme of the under-recognition of women's competences. The EU's Gender Equality Index was flagged up by Laeticia Thissen in her excellent Social Europe piece. It covers the domains you'd expect: work, money, power, health, time and knowledge, and is a trove of . The indices inevitably give only a broad and partial picture but the data provides a great platform for identifying where more needs…
Read More

Wellbeing and careers: OECD work on social performance

There's quite a debate brewing on how we should think of companies: are they purely economic entities that should not deviate from their goal of financial 'efficiency' and answer only to their shareholders (of course within legal limits); or are they social units which have a wider set of 'stakeholders' - their employees, local communities, society as a whole? I was intrigued to come across a recent OECD publication which suggests that the OECD is firmly in the latter camp. The Policy Brief based on a longer Working Paper, is on Measuring the Social Performance of Firms through the Lens of the OECD Well-being Framework, and makes a substantial contribution…
Read More

Mea culpa: how the PP neglected age

Increasingly I'm having to accept that in the Paula Principle book I left out a major angle, namely the way the PP operates over the full adult life, and not merely at work. I'm now working on a book on how to model the life course as a whole, and so have become sensitised to the way in which inequalities at work affect the (increasingly long) periods people have after they finish paid work. But I should certainly have paid it more attention when thinking then about the PP. The most recent prompt came from a piece by the FT journalist Claer Barrett. Her always interesting contributions to the weekend…
Read More

Extreme PP: the Korean case

When I wrote the PP book, now nearly five years ago, South Korea was already the extreme example of the Paula Principle. On the education side young Korean women had shot up the OECD table of tertiary level achievement; but at work their qualifications gained little recognition, and the gender pay gap remained one of the biggest. A startling article from the New York Times reports on a wave of anti-feminism. Young male Koreans are turning their anger on women, who they see as depriving them of their life chances - in spite of the evidence that in their country above almost every other young women are unable to convert…
Read More

It’s sooo slooow: IFS on closing the GPG

The Institute for Fiscal Studies is running a massive study on inequality, funded by the Nuffield Foundation under the guidance of Nobel prizewinner Angus Deaton. The review will run for some time; its scope is admirably ambitious, covering themes such as family, employment, attitudes to inequality, tax, trade and several others. It is already a huge source of policy-relevant information, and promises to be a landmark. Naturally gender figures widely in the review as a whole, and the latest report, by Alison Andrew and colleagues, deals with gender inequality at work. It is called 'The more things change the more they stay the same'. The title is suitably wry; it…
Read More

Claudia Goldin and greedy jobs

Writing the PP as a non-expert on gender and employment I was very impressed by the work of the American economist Claudia Goldin. Her extensive empirical analysis of the reasons for pay gaps illuminated issues such as the role of occupational segregation - including the very striking fact that countries known for getting closest to gender equality - the Scandinavians - showed high levels of segregation, with women piling into human-oriented services such as nursing. This surprised me, though it is of course partly due to the fact that in those egalitarian countries the financial penalty for nursing rather than banking is much lower. The choices seem sensible ones, if…
Read More

Flexibility and careers

In the PP I argue that one of the key changes - if not the key change - needed for a fairer recognition of women's competences is in the way we think about careers: getting away from the model of full-time continuous employment with progression along a linear ladder. Surely, you may say, this is disappearing out of the window - kept open to let the coronavirus out. Well, Timewise has just published its annual review of flexible working. In 2020 there was a big jump in the overall proportion of jobs offered on a flexible basis, from 17% to 24%. Progress has not been sustained at the same rate,…
Read More

Who participates in E&T: the F/M gap…

A recent piece by Petra Ahrens and Lise Rolandsen Agustin in Social Europe addressed gender equality in European institutions. They showed that there has quite strong progress towards numerical equality in the European Parliament; but this simple top-level statistic disguises how institutional mechanisms operate to sideline the issue. In particular: Gender equality is still habitually misunderstood as a ‘women’s issue’—often in a way which essentialises identity—or defensively restricted to its ‘business case’. Many MEPs continue to see gender equality as a niche with little to do with other policy domains and thus commitment to gender equality remains limited in a lot of committees and political groups. In addition, the growing…
Read More

International GPG scorecard

I'm something of a sucker for international comparisons. As it happens I'm also highly sceptical of many international ranking tables, which often court the publicity that comes from such ranking by overstretching the intrinsic validity of their measures. The Fawcett Society and Kings College's Global Institute for Women's Leadership have combined to produce Bridging the Gap an interesting set of case studies on gender pay gap reporting. The report centres round a score card which is used to rank the six participating countries. Happily it does so in a way which seems to me reasonable and helpful. The countries are Australia, South Africa, Spain, France, Sweden and the UK. I'll…
Read More

Networking: PP4 and research success

I was very intrigued by Sarah Reardon‘s piece in Nature, on now networks influence women’s success in science.  It was tweeted by Athene Donald, who knows a thing or two herself about networking and science, and whose valuable tweets I've followed for sometime . The piece is a powerful illustration of Paula Principle factor 4, the influence of vertical networks.  It took me back, almost nostalgically, to the turn of the century when with John Field and others I was directly engaged in promoting the notion of social capital as a useful tool of analysis.  The unsurprising finding is how often women working in scientific teams have found their contributions ignored or unrecognised.  The more contentious issue arising…
Read More

The GEI and a presentation puzzle

Yesterday was International Women's Day, so the airwaves were humming with news, reminders of where there has been some/no progress, encouragements and disappointments. In the spirit of international exchanges I thought I'd just focus on one source of comparative information which relates to my recurrent theme of the under-recognition of women's competences. The EU's Gender Equality Index was flagged up by Laeticia Thissen in her excellent Social Europe piece. It covers the domains you'd expect: work, money, power, health, time and knowledge, and is a trove of . The indices inevitably give only a broad and partial picture but the data provides a great platform for identifying where more needs…
Read More

Wellbeing and careers: OECD work on social performance

There's quite a debate brewing on how we should think of companies: are they purely economic entities that should not deviate from their goal of financial 'efficiency' and answer only to their shareholders (of course within legal limits); or are they social units which have a wider set of 'stakeholders' - their employees, local communities, society as a whole? I was intrigued to come across a recent OECD publication which suggests that the OECD is firmly in the latter camp. The Policy Brief based on a longer Working Paper, is on Measuring the Social Performance of Firms through the Lens of the OECD Well-being Framework, and makes a substantial contribution…
Read More

Mea culpa: how the PP neglected age

Increasingly I'm having to accept that in the Paula Principle book I left out a major angle, namely the way the PP operates over the full adult life, and not merely at work. I'm now working on a book on how to model the life course as a whole, and so have become sensitised to the way in which inequalities at work affect the (increasingly long) periods people have after they finish paid work. But I should certainly have paid it more attention when thinking then about the PP. The most recent prompt came from a piece by the FT journalist Claer Barrett. Her always interesting contributions to the weekend…
Read More

Extreme PP: the Korean case

When I wrote the PP book, now nearly five years ago, South Korea was already the extreme example of the Paula Principle. On the education side young Korean women had shot up the OECD table of tertiary level achievement; but at work their qualifications gained little recognition, and the gender pay gap remained one of the biggest. A startling article from the New York Times reports on a wave of anti-feminism. Young male Koreans are turning their anger on women, who they see as depriving them of their life chances - in spite of the evidence that in their country above almost every other young women are unable to convert…
Read More

It’s sooo slooow: IFS on closing the GPG

The Institute for Fiscal Studies is running a massive study on inequality, funded by the Nuffield Foundation under the guidance of Nobel prizewinner Angus Deaton. The review will run for some time; its scope is admirably ambitious, covering themes such as family, employment, attitudes to inequality, tax, trade and several others. It is already a huge source of policy-relevant information, and promises to be a landmark. Naturally gender figures widely in the review as a whole, and the latest report, by Alison Andrew and colleagues, deals with gender inequality at work. It is called 'The more things change the more they stay the same'. The title is suitably wry; it…
Read More

Claudia Goldin and greedy jobs

Writing the PP as a non-expert on gender and employment I was very impressed by the work of the American economist Claudia Goldin. Her extensive empirical analysis of the reasons for pay gaps illuminated issues such as the role of occupational segregation - including the very striking fact that countries known for getting closest to gender equality - the Scandinavians - showed high levels of segregation, with women piling into human-oriented services such as nursing. This surprised me, though it is of course partly due to the fact that in those egalitarian countries the financial penalty for nursing rather than banking is much lower. The choices seem sensible ones, if…
Read More

Flexibility and careers

In the PP I argue that one of the key changes - if not the key change - needed for a fairer recognition of women's competences is in the way we think about careers: getting away from the model of full-time continuous employment with progression along a linear ladder. Surely, you may say, this is disappearing out of the window - kept open to let the coronavirus out. Well, Timewise has just published its annual review of flexible working. In 2020 there was a big jump in the overall proportion of jobs offered on a flexible basis, from 17% to 24%. Progress has not been sustained at the same rate,…
Read More

Who participates in E&T: the F/M gap…

A recent piece by Petra Ahrens and Lise Rolandsen Agustin in Social Europe addressed gender equality in European institutions. They showed that there has quite strong progress towards numerical equality in the European Parliament; but this simple top-level statistic disguises how institutional mechanisms operate to sideline the issue. In particular: Gender equality is still habitually misunderstood as a ‘women’s issue’—often in a way which essentialises identity—or defensively restricted to its ‘business case’. Many MEPs continue to see gender equality as a niche with little to do with other policy domains and thus commitment to gender equality remains limited in a lot of committees and political groups. In addition, the growing…
Read More

International GPG scorecard

I'm something of a sucker for international comparisons. As it happens I'm also highly sceptical of many international ranking tables, which often court the publicity that comes from such ranking by overstretching the intrinsic validity of their measures. The Fawcett Society and Kings College's Global Institute for Women's Leadership have combined to produce Bridging the Gap an interesting set of case studies on gender pay gap reporting. The report centres round a score card which is used to rank the six participating countries. Happily it does so in a way which seems to me reasonable and helpful. The countries are Australia, South Africa, Spain, France, Sweden and the UK. I'll…
Read More

Networking: PP4 and research success

I was very intrigued by Sarah Reardon‘s piece in Nature, on now networks influence women’s success in science.  It was tweeted by Athene Donald, who knows a thing or two herself about networking and science, and whose valuable tweets I've followed for sometime . The piece is a powerful illustration of Paula Principle factor 4, the influence of vertical networks.  It took me back, almost nostalgically, to the turn of the century when with John Field and others I was directly engaged in promoting the notion of social capital as a useful tool of analysis.  The unsurprising finding is how often women working in scientific teams have found their contributions ignored or unrecognised.  The more contentious issue arising…
Read More

The GEI and a presentation puzzle

Yesterday was International Women's Day, so the airwaves were humming with news, reminders of where there has been some/no progress, encouragements and disappointments. In the spirit of international exchanges I thought I'd just focus on one source of comparative information which relates to my recurrent theme of the under-recognition of women's competences. The EU's Gender Equality Index was flagged up by Laeticia Thissen in her excellent Social Europe piece. It covers the domains you'd expect: work, money, power, health, time and knowledge, and is a trove of . The indices inevitably give only a broad and partial picture but the data provides a great platform for identifying where more needs…
Read More

Wellbeing and careers: OECD work on social performance

There's quite a debate brewing on how we should think of companies: are they purely economic entities that should not deviate from their goal of financial 'efficiency' and answer only to their shareholders (of course within legal limits); or are they social units which have a wider set of 'stakeholders' - their employees, local communities, society as a whole? I was intrigued to come across a recent OECD publication which suggests that the OECD is firmly in the latter camp. The Policy Brief based on a longer Working Paper, is on Measuring the Social Performance of Firms through the Lens of the OECD Well-being Framework, and makes a substantial contribution…
Read More

Mea culpa: how the PP neglected age

Increasingly I'm having to accept that in the Paula Principle book I left out a major angle, namely the way the PP operates over the full adult life, and not merely at work. I'm now working on a book on how to model the life course as a whole, and so have become sensitised to the way in which inequalities at work affect the (increasingly long) periods people have after they finish paid work. But I should certainly have paid it more attention when thinking then about the PP. The most recent prompt came from a piece by the FT journalist Claer Barrett. Her always interesting contributions to the weekend…
Read More

Extreme PP: the Korean case

When I wrote the PP book, now nearly five years ago, South Korea was already the extreme example of the Paula Principle. On the education side young Korean women had shot up the OECD table of tertiary level achievement; but at work their qualifications gained little recognition, and the gender pay gap remained one of the biggest. A startling article from the New York Times reports on a wave of anti-feminism. Young male Koreans are turning their anger on women, who they see as depriving them of their life chances - in spite of the evidence that in their country above almost every other young women are unable to convert…
Read More

It’s sooo slooow: IFS on closing the GPG

The Institute for Fiscal Studies is running a massive study on inequality, funded by the Nuffield Foundation under the guidance of Nobel prizewinner Angus Deaton. The review will run for some time; its scope is admirably ambitious, covering themes such as family, employment, attitudes to inequality, tax, trade and several others. It is already a huge source of policy-relevant information, and promises to be a landmark. Naturally gender figures widely in the review as a whole, and the latest report, by Alison Andrew and colleagues, deals with gender inequality at work. It is called 'The more things change the more they stay the same'. The title is suitably wry; it…
Read More

Claudia Goldin and greedy jobs

Writing the PP as a non-expert on gender and employment I was very impressed by the work of the American economist Claudia Goldin. Her extensive empirical analysis of the reasons for pay gaps illuminated issues such as the role of occupational segregation - including the very striking fact that countries known for getting closest to gender equality - the Scandinavians - showed high levels of segregation, with women piling into human-oriented services such as nursing. This surprised me, though it is of course partly due to the fact that in those egalitarian countries the financial penalty for nursing rather than banking is much lower. The choices seem sensible ones, if…
Read More

Flexibility and careers

In the PP I argue that one of the key changes - if not the key change - needed for a fairer recognition of women's competences is in the way we think about careers: getting away from the model of full-time continuous employment with progression along a linear ladder. Surely, you may say, this is disappearing out of the window - kept open to let the coronavirus out. Well, Timewise has just published its annual review of flexible working. In 2020 there was a big jump in the overall proportion of jobs offered on a flexible basis, from 17% to 24%. Progress has not been sustained at the same rate,…
Read More

Who participates in E&T: the F/M gap…

A recent piece by Petra Ahrens and Lise Rolandsen Agustin in Social Europe addressed gender equality in European institutions. They showed that there has quite strong progress towards numerical equality in the European Parliament; but this simple top-level statistic disguises how institutional mechanisms operate to sideline the issue. In particular: Gender equality is still habitually misunderstood as a ‘women’s issue’—often in a way which essentialises identity—or defensively restricted to its ‘business case’. Many MEPs continue to see gender equality as a niche with little to do with other policy domains and thus commitment to gender equality remains limited in a lot of committees and political groups. In addition, the growing…
Read More

International GPG scorecard

I'm something of a sucker for international comparisons. As it happens I'm also highly sceptical of many international ranking tables, which often court the publicity that comes from such ranking by overstretching the intrinsic validity of their measures. The Fawcett Society and Kings College's Global Institute for Women's Leadership have combined to produce Bridging the Gap an interesting set of case studies on gender pay gap reporting. The report centres round a score card which is used to rank the six participating countries. Happily it does so in a way which seems to me reasonable and helpful. The countries are Australia, South Africa, Spain, France, Sweden and the UK. I'll…
Read More

Networking: PP4 and research success

I was very intrigued by Sarah Reardon‘s piece in Nature, on now networks influence women’s success in science.  It was tweeted by Athene Donald, who knows a thing or two herself about networking and science, and whose valuable tweets I've followed for sometime . The piece is a powerful illustration of Paula Principle factor 4, the influence of vertical networks.  It took me back, almost nostalgically, to the turn of the century when with John Field and others I was directly engaged in promoting the notion of social capital as a useful tool of analysis.  The unsurprising finding is how often women working in scientific teams have found their contributions ignored or unrecognised.  The more contentious issue arising…
Read More

The GEI and a presentation puzzle

Yesterday was International Women's Day, so the airwaves were humming with news, reminders of where there has been some/no progress, encouragements and disappointments. In the spirit of international exchanges I thought I'd just focus on one source of comparative information which relates to my recurrent theme of the under-recognition of women's competences. The EU's Gender Equality Index was flagged up by Laeticia Thissen in her excellent Social Europe piece. It covers the domains you'd expect: work, money, power, health, time and knowledge, and is a trove of . The indices inevitably give only a broad and partial picture but the data provides a great platform for identifying where more needs…
Read More

Wellbeing and careers: OECD work on social performance

There's quite a debate brewing on how we should think of companies: are they purely economic entities that should not deviate from their goal of financial 'efficiency' and answer only to their shareholders (of course within legal limits); or are they social units which have a wider set of 'stakeholders' - their employees, local communities, society as a whole? I was intrigued to come across a recent OECD publication which suggests that the OECD is firmly in the latter camp. The Policy Brief based on a longer Working Paper, is on Measuring the Social Performance of Firms through the Lens of the OECD Well-being Framework, and makes a substantial contribution…
Read More

Mea culpa: how the PP neglected age

Increasingly I'm having to accept that in the Paula Principle book I left out a major angle, namely the way the PP operates over the full adult life, and not merely at work. I'm now working on a book on how to model the life course as a whole, and so have become sensitised to the way in which inequalities at work affect the (increasingly long) periods people have after they finish paid work. But I should certainly have paid it more attention when thinking then about the PP. The most recent prompt came from a piece by the FT journalist Claer Barrett. Her always interesting contributions to the weekend…
Read More

Extreme PP: the Korean case

When I wrote the PP book, now nearly five years ago, South Korea was already the extreme example of the Paula Principle. On the education side young Korean women had shot up the OECD table of tertiary level achievement; but at work their qualifications gained little recognition, and the gender pay gap remained one of the biggest. A startling article from the New York Times reports on a wave of anti-feminism. Young male Koreans are turning their anger on women, who they see as depriving them of their life chances - in spite of the evidence that in their country above almost every other young women are unable to convert…
Read More

It’s sooo slooow: IFS on closing the GPG

The Institute for Fiscal Studies is running a massive study on inequality, funded by the Nuffield Foundation under the guidance of Nobel prizewinner Angus Deaton. The review will run for some time; its scope is admirably ambitious, covering themes such as family, employment, attitudes to inequality, tax, trade and several others. It is already a huge source of policy-relevant information, and promises to be a landmark. Naturally gender figures widely in the review as a whole, and the latest report, by Alison Andrew and colleagues, deals with gender inequality at work. It is called 'The more things change the more they stay the same'. The title is suitably wry; it…
Read More

Claudia Goldin and greedy jobs

Writing the PP as a non-expert on gender and employment I was very impressed by the work of the American economist Claudia Goldin. Her extensive empirical analysis of the reasons for pay gaps illuminated issues such as the role of occupational segregation - including the very striking fact that countries known for getting closest to gender equality - the Scandinavians - showed high levels of segregation, with women piling into human-oriented services such as nursing. This surprised me, though it is of course partly due to the fact that in those egalitarian countries the financial penalty for nursing rather than banking is much lower. The choices seem sensible ones, if…
Read More

Flexibility and careers

In the PP I argue that one of the key changes - if not the key change - needed for a fairer recognition of women's competences is in the way we think about careers: getting away from the model of full-time continuous employment with progression along a linear ladder. Surely, you may say, this is disappearing out of the window - kept open to let the coronavirus out. Well, Timewise has just published its annual review of flexible working. In 2020 there was a big jump in the overall proportion of jobs offered on a flexible basis, from 17% to 24%. Progress has not been sustained at the same rate,…
Read More

Who participates in E&T: the F/M gap…

A recent piece by Petra Ahrens and Lise Rolandsen Agustin in Social Europe addressed gender equality in European institutions. They showed that there has quite strong progress towards numerical equality in the European Parliament; but this simple top-level statistic disguises how institutional mechanisms operate to sideline the issue. In particular: Gender equality is still habitually misunderstood as a ‘women’s issue’—often in a way which essentialises identity—or defensively restricted to its ‘business case’. Many MEPs continue to see gender equality as a niche with little to do with other policy domains and thus commitment to gender equality remains limited in a lot of committees and political groups. In addition, the growing…
Read More

International GPG scorecard

I'm something of a sucker for international comparisons. As it happens I'm also highly sceptical of many international ranking tables, which often court the publicity that comes from such ranking by overstretching the intrinsic validity of their measures. The Fawcett Society and Kings College's Global Institute for Women's Leadership have combined to produce Bridging the Gap an interesting set of case studies on gender pay gap reporting. The report centres round a score card which is used to rank the six participating countries. Happily it does so in a way which seems to me reasonable and helpful. The countries are Australia, South Africa, Spain, France, Sweden and the UK. I'll…
Read More

Networking: PP4 and research success

I was very intrigued by Sarah Reardon‘s piece in Nature, on now networks influence women’s success in science.  It was tweeted by Athene Donald, who knows a thing or two herself about networking and science, and whose valuable tweets I've followed for sometime . The piece is a powerful illustration of Paula Principle factor 4, the influence of vertical networks.  It took me back, almost nostalgically, to the turn of the century when with John Field and others I was directly engaged in promoting the notion of social capital as a useful tool of analysis.  The unsurprising finding is how often women working in scientific teams have found their contributions ignored or unrecognised.  The more contentious issue arising…
Read More

The GEI and a presentation puzzle

Yesterday was International Women's Day, so the airwaves were humming with news, reminders of where there has been some/no progress, encouragements and disappointments. In the spirit of international exchanges I thought I'd just focus on one source of comparative information which relates to my recurrent theme of the under-recognition of women's competences. The EU's Gender Equality Index was flagged up by Laeticia Thissen in her excellent Social Europe piece. It covers the domains you'd expect: work, money, power, health, time and knowledge, and is a trove of . The indices inevitably give only a broad and partial picture but the data provides a great platform for identifying where more needs…
Read More

Wellbeing and careers: OECD work on social performance

There's quite a debate brewing on how we should think of companies: are they purely economic entities that should not deviate from their goal of financial 'efficiency' and answer only to their shareholders (of course within legal limits); or are they social units which have a wider set of 'stakeholders' - their employees, local communities, society as a whole? I was intrigued to come across a recent OECD publication which suggests that the OECD is firmly in the latter camp. The Policy Brief based on a longer Working Paper, is on Measuring the Social Performance of Firms through the Lens of the OECD Well-being Framework, and makes a substantial contribution…
Read More

Mea culpa: how the PP neglected age

Increasingly I'm having to accept that in the Paula Principle book I left out a major angle, namely the way the PP operates over the full adult life, and not merely at work. I'm now working on a book on how to model the life course as a whole, and so have become sensitised to the way in which inequalities at work affect the (increasingly long) periods people have after they finish paid work. But I should certainly have paid it more attention when thinking then about the PP. The most recent prompt came from a piece by the FT journalist Claer Barrett. Her always interesting contributions to the weekend…
Read More

Extreme PP: the Korean case

When I wrote the PP book, now nearly five years ago, South Korea was already the extreme example of the Paula Principle. On the education side young Korean women had shot up the OECD table of tertiary level achievement; but at work their qualifications gained little recognition, and the gender pay gap remained one of the biggest. A startling article from the New York Times reports on a wave of anti-feminism. Young male Koreans are turning their anger on women, who they see as depriving them of their life chances - in spite of the evidence that in their country above almost every other young women are unable to convert…
Read More

It’s sooo slooow: IFS on closing the GPG

The Institute for Fiscal Studies is running a massive study on inequality, funded by the Nuffield Foundation under the guidance of Nobel prizewinner Angus Deaton. The review will run for some time; its scope is admirably ambitious, covering themes such as family, employment, attitudes to inequality, tax, trade and several others. It is already a huge source of policy-relevant information, and promises to be a landmark. Naturally gender figures widely in the review as a whole, and the latest report, by Alison Andrew and colleagues, deals with gender inequality at work. It is called 'The more things change the more they stay the same'. The title is suitably wry; it…
Read More

Claudia Goldin and greedy jobs

Writing the PP as a non-expert on gender and employment I was very impressed by the work of the American economist Claudia Goldin. Her extensive empirical analysis of the reasons for pay gaps illuminated issues such as the role of occupational segregation - including the very striking fact that countries known for getting closest to gender equality - the Scandinavians - showed high levels of segregation, with women piling into human-oriented services such as nursing. This surprised me, though it is of course partly due to the fact that in those egalitarian countries the financial penalty for nursing rather than banking is much lower. The choices seem sensible ones, if…
Read More

Flexibility and careers

In the PP I argue that one of the key changes - if not the key change - needed for a fairer recognition of women's competences is in the way we think about careers: getting away from the model of full-time continuous employment with progression along a linear ladder. Surely, you may say, this is disappearing out of the window - kept open to let the coronavirus out. Well, Timewise has just published its annual review of flexible working. In 2020 there was a big jump in the overall proportion of jobs offered on a flexible basis, from 17% to 24%. Progress has not been sustained at the same rate,…
Read More

Who participates in E&T: the F/M gap…

A recent piece by Petra Ahrens and Lise Rolandsen Agustin in Social Europe addressed gender equality in European institutions. They showed that there has quite strong progress towards numerical equality in the European Parliament; but this simple top-level statistic disguises how institutional mechanisms operate to sideline the issue. In particular: Gender equality is still habitually misunderstood as a ‘women’s issue’—often in a way which essentialises identity—or defensively restricted to its ‘business case’. Many MEPs continue to see gender equality as a niche with little to do with other policy domains and thus commitment to gender equality remains limited in a lot of committees and political groups. In addition, the growing…
Read More

International GPG scorecard

I'm something of a sucker for international comparisons. As it happens I'm also highly sceptical of many international ranking tables, which often court the publicity that comes from such ranking by overstretching the intrinsic validity of their measures. The Fawcett Society and Kings College's Global Institute for Women's Leadership have combined to produce Bridging the Gap an interesting set of case studies on gender pay gap reporting. The report centres round a score card which is used to rank the six participating countries. Happily it does so in a way which seems to me reasonable and helpful. The countries are Australia, South Africa, Spain, France, Sweden and the UK. I'll…
Read More

Networking: PP4 and research success

I was very intrigued by Sarah Reardon‘s piece in Nature, on now networks influence women’s success in science.  It was tweeted by Athene Donald, who knows a thing or two herself about networking and science, and whose valuable tweets I've followed for sometime . The piece is a powerful illustration of Paula Principle factor 4, the influence of vertical networks.  It took me back, almost nostalgically, to the turn of the century when with John Field and others I was directly engaged in promoting the notion of social capital as a useful tool of analysis.  The unsurprising finding is how often women working in scientific teams have found their contributions ignored or unrecognised.  The more contentious issue arising…
Read More

The GEI and a presentation puzzle

Yesterday was International Women's Day, so the airwaves were humming with news, reminders of where there has been some/no progress, encouragements and disappointments. In the spirit of international exchanges I thought I'd just focus on one source of comparative information which relates to my recurrent theme of the under-recognition of women's competences. The EU's Gender Equality Index was flagged up by Laeticia Thissen in her excellent Social Europe piece. It covers the domains you'd expect: work, money, power, health, time and knowledge, and is a trove of . The indices inevitably give only a broad and partial picture but the data provides a great platform for identifying where more needs…
Read More

Wellbeing and careers: OECD work on social performance

There's quite a debate brewing on how we should think of companies: are they purely economic entities that should not deviate from their goal of financial 'efficiency' and answer only to their shareholders (of course within legal limits); or are they social units which have a wider set of 'stakeholders' - their employees, local communities, society as a whole? I was intrigued to come across a recent OECD publication which suggests that the OECD is firmly in the latter camp. The Policy Brief based on a longer Working Paper, is on Measuring the Social Performance of Firms through the Lens of the OECD Well-being Framework, and makes a substantial contribution…
Read More

Mea culpa: how the PP neglected age

Increasingly I'm having to accept that in the Paula Principle book I left out a major angle, namely the way the PP operates over the full adult life, and not merely at work. I'm now working on a book on how to model the life course as a whole, and so have become sensitised to the way in which inequalities at work affect the (increasingly long) periods people have after they finish paid work. But I should certainly have paid it more attention when thinking then about the PP. The most recent prompt came from a piece by the FT journalist Claer Barrett. Her always interesting contributions to the weekend…
Read More

Extreme PP: the Korean case

When I wrote the PP book, now nearly five years ago, South Korea was already the extreme example of the Paula Principle. On the education side young Korean women had shot up the OECD table of tertiary level achievement; but at work their qualifications gained little recognition, and the gender pay gap remained one of the biggest. A startling article from the New York Times reports on a wave of anti-feminism. Young male Koreans are turning their anger on women, who they see as depriving them of their life chances - in spite of the evidence that in their country above almost every other young women are unable to convert…
Read More

It’s sooo slooow: IFS on closing the GPG

The Institute for Fiscal Studies is running a massive study on inequality, funded by the Nuffield Foundation under the guidance of Nobel prizewinner Angus Deaton. The review will run for some time; its scope is admirably ambitious, covering themes such as family, employment, attitudes to inequality, tax, trade and several others. It is already a huge source of policy-relevant information, and promises to be a landmark. Naturally gender figures widely in the review as a whole, and the latest report, by Alison Andrew and colleagues, deals with gender inequality at work. It is called 'The more things change the more they stay the same'. The title is suitably wry; it…
Read More

Claudia Goldin and greedy jobs

Writing the PP as a non-expert on gender and employment I was very impressed by the work of the American economist Claudia Goldin. Her extensive empirical analysis of the reasons for pay gaps illuminated issues such as the role of occupational segregation - including the very striking fact that countries known for getting closest to gender equality - the Scandinavians - showed high levels of segregation, with women piling into human-oriented services such as nursing. This surprised me, though it is of course partly due to the fact that in those egalitarian countries the financial penalty for nursing rather than banking is much lower. The choices seem sensible ones, if…
Read More

Flexibility and careers

In the PP I argue that one of the key changes - if not the key change - needed for a fairer recognition of women's competences is in the way we think about careers: getting away from the model of full-time continuous employment with progression along a linear ladder. Surely, you may say, this is disappearing out of the window - kept open to let the coronavirus out. Well, Timewise has just published its annual review of flexible working. In 2020 there was a big jump in the overall proportion of jobs offered on a flexible basis, from 17% to 24%. Progress has not been sustained at the same rate,…
Read More

Who participates in E&T: the F/M gap…

A recent piece by Petra Ahrens and Lise Rolandsen Agustin in Social Europe addressed gender equality in European institutions. They showed that there has quite strong progress towards numerical equality in the European Parliament; but this simple top-level statistic disguises how institutional mechanisms operate to sideline the issue. In particular: Gender equality is still habitually misunderstood as a ‘women’s issue’—often in a way which essentialises identity—or defensively restricted to its ‘business case’. Many MEPs continue to see gender equality as a niche with little to do with other policy domains and thus commitment to gender equality remains limited in a lot of committees and political groups. In addition, the growing…
Read More

International GPG scorecard

I'm something of a sucker for international comparisons. As it happens I'm also highly sceptical of many international ranking tables, which often court the publicity that comes from such ranking by overstretching the intrinsic validity of their measures. The Fawcett Society and Kings College's Global Institute for Women's Leadership have combined to produce Bridging the Gap an interesting set of case studies on gender pay gap reporting. The report centres round a score card which is used to rank the six participating countries. Happily it does so in a way which seems to me reasonable and helpful. The countries are Australia, South Africa, Spain, France, Sweden and the UK. I'll…
Read More

Networking: PP4 and research success

I was very intrigued by Sarah Reardon‘s piece in Nature, on now networks influence women’s success in science.  It was tweeted by Athene Donald, who knows a thing or two herself about networking and science, and whose valuable tweets I've followed for sometime . The piece is a powerful illustration of Paula Principle factor 4, the influence of vertical networks.  It took me back, almost nostalgically, to the turn of the century when with John Field and others I was directly engaged in promoting the notion of social capital as a useful tool of analysis.  The unsurprising finding is how often women working in scientific teams have found their contributions ignored or unrecognised.  The more contentious issue arising…
Read More

The GEI and a presentation puzzle

Yesterday was International Women's Day, so the airwaves were humming with news, reminders of where there has been some/no progress, encouragements and disappointments. In the spirit of international exchanges I thought I'd just focus on one source of comparative information which relates to my recurrent theme of the under-recognition of women's competences. The EU's Gender Equality Index was flagged up by Laeticia Thissen in her excellent Social Europe piece. It covers the domains you'd expect: work, money, power, health, time and knowledge, and is a trove of . The indices inevitably give only a broad and partial picture but the data provides a great platform for identifying where more needs…
Read More

Wellbeing and careers: OECD work on social performance

There's quite a debate brewing on how we should think of companies: are they purely economic entities that should not deviate from their goal of financial 'efficiency' and answer only to their shareholders (of course within legal limits); or are they social units which have a wider set of 'stakeholders' - their employees, local communities, society as a whole? I was intrigued to come across a recent OECD publication which suggests that the OECD is firmly in the latter camp. The Policy Brief based on a longer Working Paper, is on Measuring the Social Performance of Firms through the Lens of the OECD Well-being Framework, and makes a substantial contribution…
Read More

Mea culpa: how the PP neglected age

Increasingly I'm having to accept that in the Paula Principle book I left out a major angle, namely the way the PP operates over the full adult life, and not merely at work. I'm now working on a book on how to model the life course as a whole, and so have become sensitised to the way in which inequalities at work affect the (increasingly long) periods people have after they finish paid work. But I should certainly have paid it more attention when thinking then about the PP. The most recent prompt came from a piece by the FT journalist Claer Barrett. Her always interesting contributions to the weekend…
Read More

Extreme PP: the Korean case

When I wrote the PP book, now nearly five years ago, South Korea was already the extreme example of the Paula Principle. On the education side young Korean women had shot up the OECD table of tertiary level achievement; but at work their qualifications gained little recognition, and the gender pay gap remained one of the biggest. A startling article from the New York Times reports on a wave of anti-feminism. Young male Koreans are turning their anger on women, who they see as depriving them of their life chances - in spite of the evidence that in their country above almost every other young women are unable to convert…
Read More

It’s sooo slooow: IFS on closing the GPG

The Institute for Fiscal Studies is running a massive study on inequality, funded by the Nuffield Foundation under the guidance of Nobel prizewinner Angus Deaton. The review will run for some time; its scope is admirably ambitious, covering themes such as family, employment, attitudes to inequality, tax, trade and several others. It is already a huge source of policy-relevant information, and promises to be a landmark. Naturally gender figures widely in the review as a whole, and the latest report, by Alison Andrew and colleagues, deals with gender inequality at work. It is called 'The more things change the more they stay the same'. The title is suitably wry; it…
Read More

Claudia Goldin and greedy jobs

Writing the PP as a non-expert on gender and employment I was very impressed by the work of the American economist Claudia Goldin. Her extensive empirical analysis of the reasons for pay gaps illuminated issues such as the role of occupational segregation - including the very striking fact that countries known for getting closest to gender equality - the Scandinavians - showed high levels of segregation, with women piling into human-oriented services such as nursing. This surprised me, though it is of course partly due to the fact that in those egalitarian countries the financial penalty for nursing rather than banking is much lower. The choices seem sensible ones, if…
Read More

Flexibility and careers

In the PP I argue that one of the key changes - if not the key change - needed for a fairer recognition of women's competences is in the way we think about careers: getting away from the model of full-time continuous employment with progression along a linear ladder. Surely, you may say, this is disappearing out of the window - kept open to let the coronavirus out. Well, Timewise has just published its annual review of flexible working. In 2020 there was a big jump in the overall proportion of jobs offered on a flexible basis, from 17% to 24%. Progress has not been sustained at the same rate,…
Read More

Who participates in E&T: the F/M gap…

A recent piece by Petra Ahrens and Lise Rolandsen Agustin in Social Europe addressed gender equality in European institutions. They showed that there has quite strong progress towards numerical equality in the European Parliament; but this simple top-level statistic disguises how institutional mechanisms operate to sideline the issue. In particular: Gender equality is still habitually misunderstood as a ‘women’s issue’—often in a way which essentialises identity—or defensively restricted to its ‘business case’. Many MEPs continue to see gender equality as a niche with little to do with other policy domains and thus commitment to gender equality remains limited in a lot of committees and political groups. In addition, the growing…
Read More

International GPG scorecard

I'm something of a sucker for international comparisons. As it happens I'm also highly sceptical of many international ranking tables, which often court the publicity that comes from such ranking by overstretching the intrinsic validity of their measures. The Fawcett Society and Kings College's Global Institute for Women's Leadership have combined to produce Bridging the Gap an interesting set of case studies on gender pay gap reporting. The report centres round a score card which is used to rank the six participating countries. Happily it does so in a way which seems to me reasonable and helpful. The countries are Australia, South Africa, Spain, France, Sweden and the UK. I'll…
Read More

Networking: PP4 and research success

I was very intrigued by Sarah Reardon‘s piece in Nature, on now networks influence women’s success in science.  It was tweeted by Athene Donald, who knows a thing or two herself about networking and science, and whose valuable tweets I've followed for sometime . The piece is a powerful illustration of Paula Principle factor 4, the influence of vertical networks.  It took me back, almost nostalgically, to the turn of the century when with John Field and others I was directly engaged in promoting the notion of social capital as a useful tool of analysis.  The unsurprising finding is how often women working in scientific teams have found their contributions ignored or unrecognised.  The more contentious issue arising…
Read More

The GEI and a presentation puzzle

Yesterday was International Women's Day, so the airwaves were humming with news, reminders of where there has been some/no progress, encouragements and disappointments. In the spirit of international exchanges I thought I'd just focus on one source of comparative information which relates to my recurrent theme of the under-recognition of women's competences. The EU's Gender Equality Index was flagged up by Laeticia Thissen in her excellent Social Europe piece. It covers the domains you'd expect: work, money, power, health, time and knowledge, and is a trove of . The indices inevitably give only a broad and partial picture but the data provides a great platform for identifying where more needs…
Read More

Wellbeing and careers: OECD work on social performance

There's quite a debate brewing on how we should think of companies: are they purely economic entities that should not deviate from their goal of financial 'efficiency' and answer only to their shareholders (of course within legal limits); or are they social units which have a wider set of 'stakeholders' - their employees, local communities, society as a whole? I was intrigued to come across a recent OECD publication which suggests that the OECD is firmly in the latter camp. The Policy Brief based on a longer Working Paper, is on Measuring the Social Performance of Firms through the Lens of the OECD Well-being Framework, and makes a substantial contribution…
Read More

Mea culpa: how the PP neglected age

Increasingly I'm having to accept that in the Paula Principle book I left out a major angle, namely the way the PP operates over the full adult life, and not merely at work. I'm now working on a book on how to model the life course as a whole, and so have become sensitised to the way in which inequalities at work affect the (increasingly long) periods people have after they finish paid work. But I should certainly have paid it more attention when thinking then about the PP. The most recent prompt came from a piece by the FT journalist Claer Barrett. Her always interesting contributions to the weekend…
Read More

Extreme PP: the Korean case

When I wrote the PP book, now nearly five years ago, South Korea was already the extreme example of the Paula Principle. On the education side young Korean women had shot up the OECD table of tertiary level achievement; but at work their qualifications gained little recognition, and the gender pay gap remained one of the biggest. A startling article from the New York Times reports on a wave of anti-feminism. Young male Koreans are turning their anger on women, who they see as depriving them of their life chances - in spite of the evidence that in their country above almost every other young women are unable to convert…
Read More

It’s sooo slooow: IFS on closing the GPG

The Institute for Fiscal Studies is running a massive study on inequality, funded by the Nuffield Foundation under the guidance of Nobel prizewinner Angus Deaton. The review will run for some time; its scope is admirably ambitious, covering themes such as family, employment, attitudes to inequality, tax, trade and several others. It is already a huge source of policy-relevant information, and promises to be a landmark. Naturally gender figures widely in the review as a whole, and the latest report, by Alison Andrew and colleagues, deals with gender inequality at work. It is called 'The more things change the more they stay the same'. The title is suitably wry; it…
Read More

Claudia Goldin and greedy jobs

Writing the PP as a non-expert on gender and employment I was very impressed by the work of the American economist Claudia Goldin. Her extensive empirical analysis of the reasons for pay gaps illuminated issues such as the role of occupational segregation - including the very striking fact that countries known for getting closest to gender equality - the Scandinavians - showed high levels of segregation, with women piling into human-oriented services such as nursing. This surprised me, though it is of course partly due to the fact that in those egalitarian countries the financial penalty for nursing rather than banking is much lower. The choices seem sensible ones, if…
Read More

Flexibility and careers

In the PP I argue that one of the key changes - if not the key change - needed for a fairer recognition of women's competences is in the way we think about careers: getting away from the model of full-time continuous employment with progression along a linear ladder. Surely, you may say, this is disappearing out of the window - kept open to let the coronavirus out. Well, Timewise has just published its annual review of flexible working. In 2020 there was a big jump in the overall proportion of jobs offered on a flexible basis, from 17% to 24%. Progress has not been sustained at the same rate,…
Read More

Who participates in E&T: the F/M gap…

A recent piece by Petra Ahrens and Lise Rolandsen Agustin in Social Europe addressed gender equality in European institutions. They showed that there has quite strong progress towards numerical equality in the European Parliament; but this simple top-level statistic disguises how institutional mechanisms operate to sideline the issue. In particular: Gender equality is still habitually misunderstood as a ‘women’s issue’—often in a way which essentialises identity—or defensively restricted to its ‘business case’. Many MEPs continue to see gender equality as a niche with little to do with other policy domains and thus commitment to gender equality remains limited in a lot of committees and political groups. In addition, the growing…
Read More

International GPG scorecard

I'm something of a sucker for international comparisons. As it happens I'm also highly sceptical of many international ranking tables, which often court the publicity that comes from such ranking by overstretching the intrinsic validity of their measures. The Fawcett Society and Kings College's Global Institute for Women's Leadership have combined to produce Bridging the Gap an interesting set of case studies on gender pay gap reporting. The report centres round a score card which is used to rank the six participating countries. Happily it does so in a way which seems to me reasonable and helpful. The countries are Australia, South Africa, Spain, France, Sweden and the UK. I'll…
Read More

Networking: PP4 and research success

I was very intrigued by Sarah Reardon‘s piece in Nature, on now networks influence women’s success in science.  It was tweeted by Athene Donald, who knows a thing or two herself about networking and science, and whose valuable tweets I've followed for sometime . The piece is a powerful illustration of Paula Principle factor 4, the influence of vertical networks.  It took me back, almost nostalgically, to the turn of the century when with John Field and others I was directly engaged in promoting the notion of social capital as a useful tool of analysis.  The unsurprising finding is how often women working in scientific teams have found their contributions ignored or unrecognised.  The more contentious issue arising…
Read More

The GEI and a presentation puzzle

Yesterday was International Women's Day, so the airwaves were humming with news, reminders of where there has been some/no progress, encouragements and disappointments. In the spirit of international exchanges I thought I'd just focus on one source of comparative information which relates to my recurrent theme of the under-recognition of women's competences. The EU's Gender Equality Index was flagged up by Laeticia Thissen in her excellent Social Europe piece. It covers the domains you'd expect: work, money, power, health, time and knowledge, and is a trove of . The indices inevitably give only a broad and partial picture but the data provides a great platform for identifying where more needs…
Read More

Wellbeing and careers: OECD work on social performance

There's quite a debate brewing on how we should think of companies: are they purely economic entities that should not deviate from their goal of financial 'efficiency' and answer only to their shareholders (of course within legal limits); or are they social units which have a wider set of 'stakeholders' - their employees, local communities, society as a whole? I was intrigued to come across a recent OECD publication which suggests that the OECD is firmly in the latter camp. The Policy Brief based on a longer Working Paper, is on Measuring the Social Performance of Firms through the Lens of the OECD Well-being Framework, and makes a substantial contribution…
Read More

Mea culpa: how the PP neglected age

Increasingly I'm having to accept that in the Paula Principle book I left out a major angle, namely the way the PP operates over the full adult life, and not merely at work. I'm now working on a book on how to model the life course as a whole, and so have become sensitised to the way in which inequalities at work affect the (increasingly long) periods people have after they finish paid work. But I should certainly have paid it more attention when thinking then about the PP. The most recent prompt came from a piece by the FT journalist Claer Barrett. Her always interesting contributions to the weekend…
Read More

Extreme PP: the Korean case

When I wrote the PP book, now nearly five years ago, South Korea was already the extreme example of the Paula Principle. On the education side young Korean women had shot up the OECD table of tertiary level achievement; but at work their qualifications gained little recognition, and the gender pay gap remained one of the biggest. A startling article from the New York Times reports on a wave of anti-feminism. Young male Koreans are turning their anger on women, who they see as depriving them of their life chances - in spite of the evidence that in their country above almost every other young women are unable to convert…
Read More

It’s sooo slooow: IFS on closing the GPG

The Institute for Fiscal Studies is running a massive study on inequality, funded by the Nuffield Foundation under the guidance of Nobel prizewinner Angus Deaton. The review will run for some time; its scope is admirably ambitious, covering themes such as family, employment, attitudes to inequality, tax, trade and several others. It is already a huge source of policy-relevant information, and promises to be a landmark. Naturally gender figures widely in the review as a whole, and the latest report, by Alison Andrew and colleagues, deals with gender inequality at work. It is called 'The more things change the more they stay the same'. The title is suitably wry; it…
Read More

Claudia Goldin and greedy jobs

Writing the PP as a non-expert on gender and employment I was very impressed by the work of the American economist Claudia Goldin. Her extensive empirical analysis of the reasons for pay gaps illuminated issues such as the role of occupational segregation - including the very striking fact that countries known for getting closest to gender equality - the Scandinavians - showed high levels of segregation, with women piling into human-oriented services such as nursing. This surprised me, though it is of course partly due to the fact that in those egalitarian countries the financial penalty for nursing rather than banking is much lower. The choices seem sensible ones, if…
Read More

Flexibility and careers

In the PP I argue that one of the key changes - if not the key change - needed for a fairer recognition of women's competences is in the way we think about careers: getting away from the model of full-time continuous employment with progression along a linear ladder. Surely, you may say, this is disappearing out of the window - kept open to let the coronavirus out. Well, Timewise has just published its annual review of flexible working. In 2020 there was a big jump in the overall proportion of jobs offered on a flexible basis, from 17% to 24%. Progress has not been sustained at the same rate,…
Read More

Who participates in E&T: the F/M gap…

A recent piece by Petra Ahrens and Lise Rolandsen Agustin in Social Europe addressed gender equality in European institutions. They showed that there has quite strong progress towards numerical equality in the European Parliament; but this simple top-level statistic disguises how institutional mechanisms operate to sideline the issue. In particular: Gender equality is still habitually misunderstood as a ‘women’s issue’—often in a way which essentialises identity—or defensively restricted to its ‘business case’. Many MEPs continue to see gender equality as a niche with little to do with other policy domains and thus commitment to gender equality remains limited in a lot of committees and political groups. In addition, the growing…
Read More

International GPG scorecard

I'm something of a sucker for international comparisons. As it happens I'm also highly sceptical of many international ranking tables, which often court the publicity that comes from such ranking by overstretching the intrinsic validity of their measures. The Fawcett Society and Kings College's Global Institute for Women's Leadership have combined to produce Bridging the Gap an interesting set of case studies on gender pay gap reporting. The report centres round a score card which is used to rank the six participating countries. Happily it does so in a way which seems to me reasonable and helpful. The countries are Australia, South Africa, Spain, France, Sweden and the UK. I'll…
Read More