gender


Work life balance: Gender norms and the Swedish labour market

Gender identity norms are possible drivers of persistent gender inequalities in the labour market. But the extent to which such norms restrict the behaviour of couples is debated. This column examines how Swedish households changed their professional and housework balance in response to the introduction of a tax credit that altered the relative take-home pay in different ways for spouses within couples. The research shows that immigrant couples, who tend to come from countries with more traditional gender norms than Sweden, responded more strongly to a reduction in the husband’s tax rate than the wife’s. By not responding to women’s tax cuts, these couples may forgo as much as £2,000 per year in household disposable income.

Effective supervision and self – confidence : A balancing act

Effective feedback is crucial for career progression. Many women drop out of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields because they lack confidence in their abilities to succeed in these areas. One reason for this could be how supervisors give feedback. This column presents evidence suggesting that supervisors may hesitate to provide critical feedback to employees, particularly women with lower self-confidence. Instead, they might offer them overly positive feedback, hindering their performance in the long run. Getting the balance right between honesty and encouragement is vital.

Women in leadership roles: A surprising result

Female representation in senior economic and political positions is still very low in many European countries. But what happens to female empowerment when a woman ‘breaks the glass ceiling’? This column explores the extent to which female leaders appoint more women to other executive positions. Using data from Italian local politics, the research shows the opposite trend: women in senior roles are less likely to nominate women for official positions. This is a startling finding.