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Claire Zillman 2018年12月04日

对西点军校学员的一项新研究可以让我们看到在男性主导的领域里女性的表现。

图片来源:Elsa/Getty Images

《哈佛商业评论》最新发表的一篇文章中,两位研究者问道:我们怎么才能知道女性之间到底会不会彼此帮助?

在理想世界里,答案是“当然了!为什么不?!”但我们非常清楚地知道,在某些情况下,特别是在存在竞争或有固定配额时,如何团队中还有其他女性,事情会要难一些。

因此,研究人员选择了一个历史上有意思的时间地点——20世纪80年代的西点军校——来探索这个问题。美国这所军事学院为研究者提供了得出结论所必须的条件:通过将学员随机分配到不同的连队,西点军校无意间建立了“试验组”和“对照组”——有多名女性共处的连队和只有唯一女性的连队。

两名研究人员加州州立大学富勒顿分校的尼克·亨廷顿·克莱恩和华盛顿大学的埃琳娜·罗斯,研究了西点军校1981年至1984年的学生,当时距该校首次允许招录女学员不过几年时间。研究者发现,当连队里新加入一名女学员后,“女学员成功升入下一学年的概率增加了2.5%。”这意味着,原本女学员的升级比例比男学员低5%,如果连队中新加入两名女学员,就可以消除这个差距。

研究人员称,如果想将他们的研究发现应用到现代生活,有几点注意事项。首先,请记住,他们的研究对象是20世纪80年代初期的西点军校,当时学校里绝大多数都是男性,学员基本上与外界隔绝,男女学员都经常受到严重的欺侮。2018年外面的世界对于女性少数群体面临的挑战有更充分的认知,领导者也更愿意——或者至少我们希望他们更愿意——减少这些障碍。话虽如此,研究人员得出结论称:“最好的证据是,将女性分配到不同团队时如果能注意性别问题,可以有力增加在男性主导领域中女性的表现。”

研究结论还包括我认为至关重要的一点:女性进步比率的增加并未降低男性同伴成功的可能性。“换句话说,”研究人员写道,“增加团队中女性的人数只有好处没有坏处。”(财富中文网)

译者:Agatha

In a new article for Harvard Business Review, two researchers asked the question: How do we know whether women actually help other women?

In an ideal world, the answer would be, “Hello! Why wouldn’t we?!” But we know, all too well, that there are circumstances, especially in competitive settings or where quotas are present, when being in the company of other women makes things harder.

So the researchers turned to an interesting time and place in history to weigh their query—West Point in the early 1980s. The United States Military Academy provided what they needed to make a determination: By randomly assigning cadets to companies, West Point unintentionally created “treatment groups”—women in companies with other women—and “control groups,” or women in companies without other women.

The researchers, Nick Huntington-Klein of California State University Fullerton and Elaina Rose of the University of Washington, studied the classes from 1981 to 1984, just a few years after West Point first allowed women, and found that when another woman was added to a company, it “increased the likelihood a woman would progress to the next year 2.5%.” That means an extra two women in a company would erase the five percentage point deficit in women’s progression rate versus men’s.

The researchers provide a few caveats for applying their findings to modern day. First, remember that this was the early 1980s, when West Point was overwhelmingly male, cadets were largely cut off from the outside world, and men and women there were often subject to severe hazing. The outside world in 2018 is much more aware of the challenges associated with being a female minority and there is—at least we hope—more willingness among leaders to mitigate those hurdles. That being said, the researchers conclude: “the best evidence is that attending to gender when assigning women to groups can be a powerful tool for increasing the representation of women in male-dominated fields.”

The study also includes this point, which I found especially pertinent: that women’s increased likelihood of progress did not make their male peers less likely to succeed. “In other words,” the researchers write, “there was only an upside to increasing the number of women in the group.”

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