VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Women who earned a 4.0 GPA in high school could have the same work opportunities as men who flunked their classes, according to a new study from UBC.
The study published in the journal Social Forces found women remain underrepresented in leadership at every level of the high labour force and specifically found considerable differences among people who grow up to become parents.
Fathers with perfect high school grades were four times more likely to be in senior roles in the workforce supervising employees than mothers with the same GPA.
“Among men and women who are parents, early academic achievement is much more strongly associated with future leadership roles for fathers than it is for mothers,” the report reads. “Such patterns exacerbate gender gaps in leadership among parents who were top achievers in high school.
“Indeed, among those who had earned a 4.0 GPA in high school, fathers manage over four times the number of supervisees as mothers do (nineteen vs. four supervisees).”
The study says previous research helps explain the gender gap showing labour in the home falls on women, making it difficult to invest more time into work.
Research also shows women are more likely to take parental leave or work fewer hours after having children.
The study involved nearly 5,000 participants in the U.S. who were born between 1957 in 1964. And participants say they hope governments establish more work-family policies that encourage mothers’ employment and fathers caregiving in the home.
The authors of the study provide several policy recommendations, such as work organizations putting systems in place that reduce bias in hiring and promotion.
The lead researcher for the study, a sociology professor at UBC Yue Qian, conducted a study earlier this year that showed the pandemic has impacted mother’s employment more than men and Qian says he expects the trend will continue.