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Working briefs

Men at work

Academic research and the media suggest that the traditionally masculine ways of working are gradually being superseded by 'workplace feminisation' - improved collaboration, cooperation and communication.

Don't you believe it; researchers from three UK universities presented a collaborative paper at last week's British Psychological Society's Centenary annual conference which suggests that 'machismo, individualism and presenteeism' are alive and well in the modern workplace. They found that although a great deal of lip service is paid to the idea of supporting employees to achieve a good work/life balance through flexible working hours, job shares and organisational change, women and men still have to conform to the traditional male way of working or else compromise a successful career.

Let's talk about you. . .

Delegates to the British Psychological Society's Centenary Annual Conference were also told how female candidates present themselves more effectively than males in face to face interviews, while men perform better in telephone based interviews. Dr Jo Silvester and colleagues at City University and Goldsmiths College London found interviewers tended to ask male applicants significantly more open ended questions than the female applicants. But although men had more opportunities to offer information about themselves, women did better in the face to face interviews, 'presenting themselves as people who had more control over the events in their lives and consequently received higher ratings by the interviewers'. The researchers argue that decisions about female candidates are typically made using different criteria to decisions about male candidates.

No Mr Nice Guys?

A survey reported last week in The Guardian suggests men are far more likely than women to sleep with their superiors in order to secure promotion at work. The survey, conducted by online recruitment agency PlanetRecruit, also noted that 62% of men questioned would happily resort to character assassination to secure a better job - compared with 38% of women - and that twice as many men as women were happy to take credit for someone else's work.

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