Women are being overlooked for promotion because they are failing to network successfully, a top economist has warned.
“Women use their phones to cement bonds of existing friendships,” professor Paul Seabright told the Royal Economic Society in Edinburgh.
“Many don’t make it on to the shortlist for top jobs simply because they aren’t in contact books when the opening arises,” he said.
The professor said advocates for gender equality needed to understand its biological and anthropological basis. He compared gender differences with female and male chimpanzees.
“Male chimpanzees are much more willing to reconcile with enemies and betray friends. Male coalitions tend to be more flexible. Women’s coalitions are smaller, more loyal, but less ambitious. It’s very similar for humans,” he said.
Seabright said the health of the world economy depended on the success of women breaking free from traditional roles.