As the parent of a little girl, I can say for certain that raising her to be a strong leader is an everyday consideration. Yet in reviewing the research of Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Making Caring Common project, it’s apparent that gender bias makes that an uphill battle.
The research found that 23 percent of girls and 40 percent of boys preferred male political leaders instead of female, while only 8 percent of girls and 4 percent of boys preferred female political leaders. Similarly, 36 percent of boys preferred male business leaders to female. (There was no significant difference between girls’ preference for male versus female business leaders.)
On the school-age level, students were least likely to support granting more power to student councils if white girls were in charge and most likely when white boys were.
That’s right. Even mothers and girls were more likely to favor giving power to student councils led by boys rather than by girls. Weissbourd’s report cited a 2013 Gallup poll found that 35 percent of all respondents would prefer to have a male boss while only 23 percent of respondents would prefer to have a female boss. The preference for male bosses was even stronger among female respondents.
So how can we do better? Richard Weissbourd, the Harvard psychologist who runs the Making Caring Common project offers 5 ways to prevent gender bias.
Read them at The Washington Post: Are you holding your own daughter back? Here are 5 ways to raise girls to be leaders. – The Washington Post