> Skip to content

Article  •  30 June 2021


The Authority Gap by numbers

Startling figures from Mary Ann Sieghart revealing the unseen bias at work in our everyday lives.

This is a book that will make you angry, it will make you shake your head in disbelief. But it will also inspire you. In the words of Julia Gillard, 'The Authority Gap [by] Mary Ann Sieghart combines an absorbing review of the contemporary evidence on the systematic undervaluing of women with some powerful new insights. Whether you know a little or a lot about sexism and misogyny, there is much to learn from this book, including some very practical tips on creating change that you can implement the minute after you turn the last page.'

The book includes new, original research and interviews with pioneering women including Baroness Hale, Mary Beard and Caitlin Moran. Here we dive into some of the shocking stats:

  • According to findings from the Woman Interrupted app, which detects when a female voice is spoken over by a man, this happens 1.67 times a minute in the UK, 1.43 times a minute in the US, and a whopping 8.28 times in Pakistan, 7.22 times in Nigeria and 6.66 times in Malaysia.
  • An experiment with forest-users in Indonesia, Peru and Tanzania found that including at least 50 per cent women in the decision-making groups led to more trees being conserved and to payments being distributed more equitably.
  • Researchers in Australia found that women do ask for a pay rise just as often as men. They are just not given it. Women are often punished for being as assertive as men. They don’t get the pay rise, the promotion or the job, even if they ask for it. And this is because women, unlike men, are rewarded for being likeable.
  • 70 per cent of men rate men more highly for achieving the same goals as women, rising to 75 per cent for men in senior positions.
  • A woman applicant is 30 per cent less likely to be called for a job interview than an identically qualified man.
  • Male students consistently rate other male students as cleverer than better-performing female ones.
  • Men are four times more likely to read a book by a man than by a woman. Women read books by both genders roughly equally.
  • The odds of recommending a woman rather than a man for a job are 38% lower if the job requires serious intelligence.
  • High-achieving men applying for jobs are called for interview nearly twice as often as high-achieving women.
  • Male hirers are more than five times more likely to say they don’t want to work with a woman who tries to negotiate on pay than with a man who does.

The Authority Gap Mary Ann Sieghart

Based on new, original research and interviews with pioneering women including Baroness Hale, Mary Beard and Caitlin Moran, this is a fresh feminist take on how to address and counteract systemic sexism, perfect for fans of Invisible Women.

Buy now
Buy now

More features

See all
This will be hard

In How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, Bill Gates outlines just some of the hurdles between humanity and a net-zero carbon world.

What’s your perspective?

Take the quiz from Raising Girls Who Like Themselves to find out if the glass is half full or half empty.

My home is out of control

Simple steps from Mums Who Clean for getting on top of a messy house.

The 50/30/20 rule

In Financially Literate Youth, Marlies and Jai Hobbs offer practical advice for managing your finances.

Fuel your fierce

Brita Fernandez Schmidt offers three tips for harnessing inspiration.

Six stages of separation

In Breakup Bootcamp, Amy Chan walks readers through the first steps of dealing with heartbreak.

The oldest dog in the world

Meet Maggie, unofficially the world’s oldest dog – and officially dairy farmer Brian McLaren’s best mate for nearly thirty years.

Themes from A Promised Land

From the influence of family to his political rise and the world events that shaped his presidency, Barack Obama covers enormous ground in his Presidential Memoirs, Volume 1: A Promised Land. Here we break down some of the key themes and turning points.

A Promised Land: key events

From inauguration through to Operation Neptune’s Spear, take a look at the milestones covered in Barack Obama's riveting memoir.

Start your zero waste family journey

Bestselling author, rocket scientist, medical doctor and mother Anita Vandyke offers her top five tips for becoming a zero waste family.

Use it or lose it

In Right-brain Workout 2 you’ll find 70 fresh exercises to stimulate your mind.

Book clubs
A Promised Land book club notes

Settle in for a memorable reading group discussion, with Barack Obama’s long-awaited memoirs: A Promised Land.

Looking for more articles?

See all articles