Ben Waber, the president and chief executive officer of a management consulting firm that specializes in social sensing technology, found that sociometric data revealed higher productivity among women and few differences in communication style among men and women. Despite the lack of difference between women and men, research shows that employers hold cognitive biases against women with children:
The traditional theory about workplace inequality focuses on biology—childbearing, maternity leave, and child care hold women back. Then there are the deeply ingrained cognitive biases that rig the game in favor of men. One of Sandberg’s most interesting observations is that women and men work and collaborate differently, causing variations in career outcomes. These obstacles can be overcome, but doing so will require great effort.
To get a better read on the contrasting styles of men and women in the workplace, I’ve set out over the past year to analyze behavior and career outcomes at three different U.S. companies: a banking call center (more than 10,000 employees), an office products manufacturer (about 10,000), and a pharmaceutical company (about 1,000).
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