PP Factor poll

This is an invitation to cast your vote on which of these factors you think is most important for explaining the Paula Principle. You can vote for more than one. And why not add a comment on your reasons for voting as you did?



  1. Patricia Quinn

    Interesting theories, Tom. I have found other reasons operating since I have been out here in the Middle East which are dominated by the patriarchal culture here. Qualifications are held in greater demand than experience hence the reason I have had to enrol on a Master’s degree at my mature age, otherwise I have no chance of promotion against a national candidate. Highly qualified women from the country are fighting culture and tradition to gain management positions – they have the will but the journey and obstacles are difficult. Happy to elaborate. 00 974 3319 6040

    1. TomSchuller

      Thanks Patsy. I would like to hear more, but I’m currently out of the UK for a week or so.From the PP viewpoint the relevant question is not so much about the requirement for qualifications, as whose qualifications are valued and rewarded. I’m thinking of using Saudi Arabia as a short case study: a v high proportion of graduates are female, but where do they go?

  2. I have selected straight discrimination (direct and indirect) as the top factor because I think it has a knock on effect on everything else. Women are different to men – not better or worse, just different and without discrimination we would reap the benefit of those differences.
    I was made redundant from Reuters as a senior Technical Manager in 2004. I had worked hard over my 14 year career to increase the number of women in the technical arena at Reuters and in a single stroke my (and others) efforts were undone. Women were disproportionately affected by the redundancy exercise because they had generally moved themselves or been moved into roles that allowed them to be more flexible for work-life balance and also to use their soft skills more – the redundancy exercise gave a 25x weighting to front-line operational roles so it was inevitable that more women would be lost even thought they were still in the minority in the technical area that was affected by the redundancy programme I was part of.
    It was a pleasure to meet you at the Women in Management event this week. I think your research works well and certainly gets the debate going in a constructive way – I look forward to your publication. Best regards, Jane Slatter Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland http://www.sigbi.org

    1. TomSchuller

      Jane, thanks for this personal account, which illustrates the particular way in which things went in a particular organisation/sector. I hope that the PP factors can act as a kind of toolkit which will allow us to work out in more detail how the issues apply to different organisations, secotrs and even countries. Please feel free to use it as you see fit!

  3. poppy

    I’m writing my dissertation on women and the juggle between a career and children. I’m looking into aspects of how some women are deemed to ‘have it all’. My research seems to show that it’s all down to the contribution of the man/husband/partner and that women can reach heights in their career if their male counterpart is willing to compromise. It’s all about balance.

  4. marzena

    I find your research very interesting. I am one of those women who is forever studying but is not able to get any high/well paid job or related to that opportunities. In my case it was firstly the lack of confidence, knowledge and understanding of the job market. Secondly, my personal values and belief systems. In my twenties the priority was to have my own family and children (biological clock) and I was not really focused on a career ladder. Work related issues were not so important. Now, when my children are older I am able to focus again on my personal development and my needs. I agree with Poppy on women having/requiring the support of their partners. Precisely because of that lack of compromise and support I could not resume my studies/work until recently. Fortunately, I was able to restart my career and studies at Birkbeck and now I feel that I can enter the job market again. However, confidence issues emerge again. How do you compare yourself to individuals who have been working for many years in a particular field (professionals, experts) or even to young, enthusiastic students who seem to “own the world”. On the other hand many well educated women may be using their knowledge to actually educate their own children and to look “intelligent” in front of their families or partners. I am surrounded by an Arab culture where “outside” work is not recommended for women and academic skills are more used to enhance children’s opportunities and learning. I think some women choose not work and for some it is their priority. For me access to education, jobs, childcare, partner cooperation (support systems), economy and confidence all played a crucial role in the fact where I ended up working (low paid jobs).

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