In Russia, women earn about 70% of what men earn in wages. In the academic sector, this gap is smaller. However, although women make up a majority at universities, wage gaps between the two genders still persist. To find out why this is the case, IQ.HSE spoke with Victor Rudakov, Research Fellow at the Institute of Institutional Studies.
Legally, the 1917 revolution solved the gender issue in the Russian academic community. The doors to the profession opened for women, but a ‘glass ceiling’ remained. Ekaterina Streltsova and Evgenia Dolgova studied who it affected and why. This study is the first to present a socio-demographic analysis of the female academic community in Moscow and Leningrad during the early Soviet era.
Researchers from Higher School of Economics analyzed 62 million public posts on the most popular Russian social networking site VK and found that both men and women mention sons more often than daughters. They also found that posts featuring sons receive 1.5 times more likes. The results have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
Sociologists at HSE showed that preschool education has its own hidden curriculum: kindergarten teachers transmit social norms to children, including conservative ideas of femininity and masculinity. Girls are expected to have “proper” character and behavior, to be obedient and pretty, take an interest in music and dance, and to like the color pink.
STEMatisation of Women: How Gender Stereotypes Can Prevent Women from Having Careers in Knowledge-intensive Industries
Having studied gender imbalances in disciplines such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics, HSE sociologists propose steps to support women in choosing STEM and staying in this field.
The #imnotafraidtosay (Russian: #янебоюсьсказать) flashmob on Facebook and other online actions against sexual violence have helped victims to speak out about the problem and get psychological support from the web. At the same time, full frankness is hardly possible in such projects. It is directly related to anonymity. According to HSE researchers, the most painful experiences are still muted in groups where the discussants use their real names.
The idea of ageing well assumes that a mature individual remains active, healthy, and attractive. Society places this demand on women in particular. HSE researchers have published an article in Ageing & Society that looks at the strategies women over 50 choose.
In a conservative society, women as well as men tend to hold sexist attitudes towards other women, treating them with disrespect and criticising them either for being too feminine and sexual or for taking on traditionally 'male' roles. This type of gender bias assumes a limited range of 'female' roles in society. Misogyny and distrust of women's abilities can generate a fear of femininity, according to Olga Savinskaya and Elizaveta Zakharova's paper Using Mixed Methods to Study Internalised Misogyny among Millennial Women.
The integration of economics and biology is an emerging trend in 21st century science. A number of studies were published in the early 2000s exploring the effects of psycho-physiological variables, such as hormone levels, on individual performance in various fields. Several papers have associated the ratio of second digit (index finger) to fourth digit (ring finger) length (2D:4D ratio) with exposure to prenatal testosterone, the male hormone produced by the maternal body and influencing the foetal development.
A predominance of women on a company's boards of directors can lead to a loss of flexibility in governance. Yet in times of change, for example during periods of rapid growth or crisis, women can make better leaders than men: they are more willing to take risks and tend to find more unconventional solutions, according to a report 'The Impact of Gender Diversity of the Board and Ownership Structure on Corporate Performance: Evidence from Western Europe' by HSE researchers Tatiana Ratnikova and Dmitry Gavrilov.