Thursday 18 April 2013

Why Some Women Cross the Finish Line Before Men

The race is usually tougher and more sweating for women – yet, more women are enduring the distance and managing to outrun their male counterparts!

A recent study carried out by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) found that there has been a significant shift over the past few years in the performance of female entrepreneurs. It is seen that women are creating businesses at a faster pace than men while they are also performing on an equal footing with their male counterparts (

The results of the study also demonstrate that women who apply for senior roles have a higher rate of success than men. This of course should be viewed alongside the fact that fewer women apply for higher positions in the first place, and this is especially the case for Malta. In February 2010 the number of registered unemployed was 7,852: of these 6,082 were men while 1,770 were female. The rate of unemployment for men stood at 6.7% while that of women stood at 7.1% (NSO, 2010c). Part-time employment as a primary job increased by 1,038 or 3.8% to 28,171 (MFEI, 2009). In October 2009, the number of men employed part-time as a primary job was 11,449 which constituted 10.52% of the total number of men employed in a primary job. There is a significant difference when it comes to women. In 2009, the number of women who held a primary part-time job was 6,503. However, the difference between men and women becomes more significant when we see this number as a percentage of the total number of
women employed in their primary job (those in full employment and those working part-time). The percentage here is 26.38%. The number of female part-time employees continues to be on the increase (cited in Mayo, 2012, p. 5).

So why are senior women more successful than men?
Reasons for higher success rates among women are rather difficult to isolate. It is observed that if a woman candidate manages to get on a short list then she has probably already proved herself to be an exceptional candidate. This, however, seems to demean women in that it makes them appear as though they are not able to fully unleash their managerial potential and skills at the same level as their male counterparts.

 With regard to the difference in attitudes towards work among men and women it is seen that women tend to research thoroughly before applying for positions or attending interviews. Men, however, seem to rely more on their innate ability to promote and sell themselves and to convince their potential employer that any shortcomings they may have will not prevent them from doing a splendid job.

Organizations like the European Women’s Management Development Network provided a range of opportunities for women to enhance their skills and contacts. Although of course this is still in its preliminary stages and much more needs to be done to ensure equality between men and women at the workplace, barrieemntrs to women in employments are being broken down.

Mayo, P. 2012. Adult Education in Malta: Challenges and Prospects.

Nikita Pisani at Muovo


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