Sex roles persist at work and home

Barrie Clement reports from the British Psychological Society

Ambitious women should concentrate on improving their skills and education, while their male colleagues would be better off playing golf with the boss, according to an equal opportunities specialist.

Dr Tuvia Melamed said that while such advice risked reinforcing sexual stereotypes, that was the way men and women got on in organisations.

Despite 20 years of sex discrimination legislation and the era of the so-called new man, certain opportunities for social contact were still not open to women, Dr Melamed told the British Psychological Society's occupational psychology conference at Warwick University.

"Men can play sport with their bosses in a way that is not open to women. Some golf clubs simply don't have female members," said Dr Melamed, an occupational psychologist at Central Lancashire University.

All the talk of "new men" was simply perpetuating a myth, he said. There are new politically correct titles but in reality there has not been much progress."

Women still performed most domestic duties as they always did, said Dr Melamed. If you ask a woman how much of the housework she does, she will invariably answer 90 per cent. If you ask her male partner, he would probably say he did 50 per cent.

Dr Melamed came to his conclusions after studying 500 male and female middle managers in a range of organisations. He found that the average salary for women was £13,500, while their male colleagues earned £18,000.

The studyfound 40 per cent of the difference could be explained by personality characteristics, differences in general education and job-specific qualifications, but 60 per cent could only be explained by simple sex discrimination.

It was important that legislation was given more teeth, Dr Melamed said. The provision of maternity and paternity leave should be the same so men and women took equal responsibility for children. He conceded, however, that in his home country of Israel, when a measure was introduced for the 1.5 million working population, only a handful of men took advantage of it.

Another study found that some women police officers have to behave more like men than their male colleagues in order to win promotion and keep their jobs.

So entrenched is the male ethos in the service, that females engage in "stereotypical male-like behaviour" so they can feel they are fitting in.

Penny Dick, of Teesside Business School, and Rashmi Biswas of Sheffield Hallam University, believe the phenomenon may serve to reinforce beliefs about male-dominated police departments in general and female "high fliers" in particular.

One of the perceived male characteristics is total commitment to the job to the virtual exclusion of all else. "That works against the interests of both men and women in the service, who want to give a reasonable amount of time to their families. Such t o tal commitment does not necessary mean the people concerned are particularly good at their jobs," said Miss Dick.

According to stereotypes policemen were athletic, streetwise, decisive and "led from the front". Women in the force were incapable, disorganised and lacking in ambition. More positive characteristics associated with women including being good at defusingpotentially violent situations, and considerate and caring.

The paper by Miss Dick and Miss Biswas, presented to the Conference, disclosed that in one unnamed force there were no women above the rank of superintendent. Just six per cent of superintendents were female and there were no women chief inspectors. Fou r per cent of inspectors and three per cent of sergeants were female, while 13 per cent of constables were women.

Miss Biswas said the male-dominated image of the service deterred women from applying to join.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all