AAUW recommends steps to close women’s leadership gap

July 22, 20161 minute read

The American Association of University Women has released findings of its study “Barriers and Bias: The Status of Women in Leadership,” focusing on women in politics, education and the workplace.

According to Huffington Post, the study points to the fact that “women have been leaders in different societies throughout history, and despite stereotypes, the concept of leadership is not inherently masculine. There are many ways to lead. Women have made progress in leadership positions, but the gender gap continues to be a prevalent issue.”

The study identifies the factors impacting women’s leadership, including: there is a pipeline problem; sex discrimination continues to be a barrier, as are stereotypes and sexual harassment; family and caregiving responsibilities are more likely to affect women’s careers than men’s; research suggests that women are at a disadvantage when it comes to networks, mentorship, and sponsorship; and a variety of stereotypes and biases have detrimental effects.

Six strategies are identified in the study, including one not commonly discussed. It’s the use of Implicit Association Tests (IATs) – which test the time it takes for an individual to make a certain association – for example, between “women” and “scientist.”