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A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore.

Sep 15, 2022

The gender pay gap is still a persistent problem in today's society, reflecting the overall state of gender inequality. It is full of complexity and comprises different facets, making it hard to understand the overall situation. We have covered the topic before, but in this episode, we go into a whole new level of detail. To help us unpack the nuance of this essential topic is Colleen Ammerman, Director of the Gender Initiative at Harvard Business School. She is also the author of Glass Half-Broken, providing readers with hard evidence and detailed analysis of the different drivers of gender inequality in the workplace. We cover the basics of gender inequality, such as how it currently exists, how it manifests in the workplace, and the subtle and less obvious ways it occurs. We also find out whether men are generally aware of the problem, the obstacles that prevent men from taking action, and the power men have to initiate positive change within organizations. Colleen also untangles the intricacies of the topic, explaining why gender equality is still a pervasive problem, how gender inequality extends to promotions, how management explains away the issue, how gender equality is also beneficial for men, and the influence of perceived gender roles in career decisions. Tune in and learn about the intricacies of gender inequality, as well as the possible solutions, with Colleen Ammerman!


Key Points From This Episode:


  • We start by finding out what the current situation is for women in the workplace. (0:03:22)
  • How to quantify gender inequality symptoms in the workplace. (0:04:12)
  • Whether there are similar effects of gender inequality for men of colour. (0:05:03)
  • Why people might still deny that there is a problem concerning gender inequality. (0:05:35)
  • An outline of the career obstacles that uniquely affect women. (0:07:18)
  • Find out if men are aware that women have additional barriers to overcome. (0:12:03)
  • Reasons why women may leave the workplace before retaining a leadership role. (0:14:05)
  • Colleen explains how we know from the data that women have less interest in higher-paying technical jobs. (0:16:14)
  • Learn if the adjusted gender pay gap data diminish the findings of using unadjusted gender pay gap data. (0:18:47)
  • Ways in which the gender pay gap extends to promotions and compensation. (0:20:34)
  • Colleen tells us why it is important for society to strive for more women in leadership positions. (0:21:26)
  • The general response from men to workplace diversity initiatives. (0:22:07)
  • What men should be doing in the workplace to help reduce inequalities that exist. (0:26:25)
  • The ways corporate directors explain the underrepresentation of women and people of colour on boards. (0:29:15)
  • Why we don't see more men taking action to combat gender inequality issues. (0:31:05)
  • She explains what homophily is and its role in workplace diversity. (0:33:13)
  • How the language in job descriptions determines who applies for the position. (0:37:04)
  • Whether there is evidence to support the notion that women prefer a growth-mindset environment to a fixed-mindset environment. (0:40:00)
  • What men, who are not in leadership positions, can do to overcome gender inequality problems in the workplace. (0:43:02)
  • What companies need to be aware of regarding hybrid and remote-work models. (0:47:14)
  • The steps men can take to overcome gender inequality outside of the workplace. (0:50:29)
  • We learn what managers can do to attract more diverse candidates. (0:52:52)
  • Whether there is data on the effect that gender has on hiring decisions. (0:54:22)
  • How gender norms or biases affect employee evaluation. (0:56:01)
  • Actions that women can take to advance their careers in an unequal environment. (0:59:53)
  • Colleen explains the issues of negotiations for men and women. (01:04:03)
  • The role parents can play to combat the issues of gender parity. (01:05:13)
  • We end the episode by learning how Colleen defines success in her life. (01:06:03)


Book From Today’s Episode:

Glass Half-Broken: Shattering the Barriers That Still Hold Women Back at Work


Links From Today’s Episode:

Rational Reminder on iTunes —

Rational Reminder Website —

Benjamin on Twitter —

Cameron Passmore —

Cameron on Twitter —

Colleen Ammerman on Twitter —

Colleen Ammerman on LinkedIn —