Are Men More Productive Than Women In the Office?

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Another classic battle of the sexes! This time, it is whether or not men are the dominant gender when it comes to the productivity in an office setting such as a corporation, cubical, etc. A UC Berkley study released in 2006 by Trond Petersen, Vermund Snartland, and Eva M. Meyersson Milgrom says that men and women produce at relatively the same level (all things held equal). There was an interesting insertion in the findings about men taking more sick days than the women in the study by one percent or so, which I also thought was interesting. Assuming that two candidates (one male and one female) are doing the same job and all things are help equal (experience, education, work ethic, etc.), which will be more productive. That’s what this seeks to investigate.

Here, the independent variable is the work done (i.e. the occupation); and, the dependent variable is the self-identified sex of the person in the study. However, what is important to keep in mind is to make sure that the field or occupation is gender neutral, which means that the field cant be dominated by men or dominated by women. It needs to be equal opportunity for success from both to prevent bias from creeping into the equation. It’s easy to make an alternate hypothesis like this and say that women are less productive than men because of their time spent socializing and shopping online. I would argue that men waste time that they could using to be productive as well.  There is some correlation between gender and success in particular occupations due to the physical make up of a man or woman. For example, a woman is more equipped to be a midwife than a man is.


For just about every statistic that says a man is more productive, there seems to be an equally present on that says that a woman is either just as productive or more productive. If we want to get more into the deeper underlying causes of why men may be more productive than women, we can talk about the wage gap that has existed between men and women for decade, since the women’s suffrage era. Even today, women are paid cents to the dollar of a man, which can cause underlying bias about the work ethic of women and the value of having a woman versus a man in a particular role.  Just like real estate, one important thing that wasn’t mentioned much in the study was the role of location. In some places there are equal opportunities for men and women and equal pay.

To conclude, the study was conducted mostly outside the United States, but it is still quite relevant tot he working woman vs the working man. I will accept this hypothesis of the study because it is partially true.  In a way, women may be more productive than men because they are doing the same work at less the rate of pay. However, this hypothesis may not be true with the presence of a 3rd party variable – location.Those cases are few and far between though. The primary reason I will accept is because there is relatively no difference in productivity if all things are held equal in a scenario. Specific occupations, even if things held equal for both a man and a woman, may prove slightly advantageous to a particular gender.

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