Why figuring out what’s behind a big gender paradox won’t be easy

A toy robot confronts a My Little Pony.

In Sweden, girls are just as likely to go to school and university as boys are. Women make up a greater proportion of the country’s professional and technical workers than any other country in the world. And their representation in the country’s politics is among the world’s best. But when it comes to personality tests, Swedish men and women are worlds apart.

Malaysia sits toward the opposite end of the scale: despite ranking among the world’s lowest for political empowerment of women and lagging when it comes to women’s health and survival, men and women end up looking similar in those same personality tests. What gives?

Paradoxical

This fascinating finding—dubbed the gender-equality paradox—isn’t new, but two recent papers report fresh details. In a paper published in Science today, Armin Falk and Johannes Hermle report that gender differences in preferences like risk-taking, patience, and trust were more exaggerated in wealthier and more gender-equal countries. And in a recent paper in the International Journal of Psychology, Erik Mac Giolla and Petri Kajonius provide more detail on the original paradox.

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Christine Lagarde calls for more women to be given top business jobs

IMF chief says increased effort is needed to meet UN’s goal of ending discrimination

Tackling gender inequality will boost economic growth in developing nations, Christine Lagarde has said, as she urged businesses worldwide to appoint more women to senior posts.

The head of the International Monetary Fund said increasing the proportion of women in prominent business and finance industry jobs could raise economic dynamism and shift firms into thinking about the long-term future of the planet.

Related: Sustainable development goals: changing the world in 17 steps – interactive

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‘If it was Lehman Sisters, it would be a different world’ – Christine Lagarde

IMF head says the male domination of banking could lead to another financial crisis

Christine Lagarde has said male domination of the banking industry made the collapse of Lehman Brothers more likely, as she urged further reforms to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis triggered by its failure a decade ago.

Writing on the IMF blog ahead of the 10th anniversary of the US investment bank’s collapse next week, the head of the International Monetary Fund said significant measures had been taken to fix the financial system, although she warned more work was still required, particularly on gender diversity.

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‘We need a call to action’: Stacey Cunningham, the NYSE’s first female president

She is the first woman to lead the New York Stock Exchange in its 226 years. Faced with falling sales and government pressure, though, she finds the attention to her gender a distraction

The Fearless Girl is on the move. The bronze sculpture of a little girl defiantly facing off against Wall Street’s Charging Bull launched a million selfies and became an unlikely avatar of the #MeToo movement. Soon it will be transported a few hundred metres down the road in downtown Manhattan to confront another symbol of entrenched masculinity: the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Stacey Cunningham says she couldn’t be more delighted.

“I think she’s fantastic,” says Cunningham, the 67th president of the NYSE and the first woman to head the male-dominated institution in its 226-year history. “For me, she is a message to individuals, though. I think we need to call ourselves to action, especially as women, not to hold ourselves back.”

Whether or not NYSE is sheltering a marketing operation or a vital financial institution is the least of its problems

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Feds probe whether Uber hired fewer women, paid them less

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has opened a formal investigation into the hiring and employment practices of Uber.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the probe has been going on since August 2017. It seeks to reveal whether there is a pay disparity between male and female employees, among other labor concerns.

Uber did not immediately respond to Ars’ question as to how many federal inquiries the company currently faces, but the company told multiple media outlets in a statement that Uber has “made a lot of changes in the last 18 months” and that it had added new “diversity and leadership training” worldwide.

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Global ‘care crisis’ risks rise in inequality against women – UN

Governments and firms urged to spend $7tn by 2030 t0 address gap in social care

The world economy faces a looming “care crisis” risking further division between men and women across the planet, according to a UN report calling for governments and companies worldwide to spend at least an extra $7tn on care by 2030.

Making the case for spending on support for children, old people and the neediest in society to double by the end of the next decade, the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) warned demographic changes alone mean the current path for care funding falls far short of requirements.

Related: Theresa May tells taxpayers to expect to pay more to fund NHS

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Half of women in science face harassment; policies and institutions fail them

Sexual harassment is widespread within the scientific community, and policies and institutional safeguards to address the problem are more effective at reducing liability than protecting members and changing harmful work cultures, according to a long-awaited report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The report, released Tuesday, June 12, is two years in the making. In an opening statement broadcast at the report’s public release today in Washington, DC, Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences, called it a “landmark” study arriving at the “right moment” amid the international Me Too movement against sexual harassment and assault. Yet the academies own policies regarding harassers within its ranks may highlight the challenges ahead for effecting change.

The extensive report outlines the grim scope of sexual harassment in the academic sciences, engineering, and medical fields, as well as numerous recommendations for prevention. Reviews of scientific analyses and surveys revealed that more than 50 percent of women faculty and staff and 20-50 percent of women students in the three fields had encountered or experienced sexual harassment. These rates are higher than in other sectors, including industry and government jobs. Academic positions were second only to the military, which had a sexual harassment rate of 69 percent.

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The answer to Britain’s productivity crisis? Meghanomics | Larry Elliott

The duchess wants to champion female empowerment. Letting women participate fully in the workforce would be a good start

There’s nothing quite like a royal wedding to get the British to part with their cash, so in one respect the idea that the new Duchess of Sussex could be good news for the economy is a statement of the blindingly obvious. Retailers have had a tough time recently, and a bit of Meghanmania was just what they needed to get the tills ringing.

Interest in the newest member of the royal family will linger longer than the feelgood factor. People are clearly fascinated by her backstory and take notice of what she thinks. Role models are important, and just as it matters that Christine Lagarde sees fighting for women’s rights as a vital part of her job as head of the International Monetary Fund, so it matters that the Duchess of Sussex calls herself a feminist and wants to champion female empowerment. Feminism is an economic issue.

Related: ‘I’m proud to be a feminist’: Meghan Markle makes online debut as Duchess of Sussex

Related: Will women be equal to men in 100 years? | Margaret Atwood, Lola Okolosie, Polly Toynbee, Athene Donald and Julie Bindel

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