London - They say it’s a man’s world. And, indeed, it appears that when it comes to work, the key to earning more is to think like a man.
A study found that those with a so-called male brain have higher salaries than those with a female brain.
As a result, a woman with an analytical mind will earn 6.3 percent more than a woman who focuses on thoughts and feelings.
Researcher Dr Nick Drydakis said it isn’t clear why thinking like a man makes workers better off but it may be because traditionally male occupations are better paid.
He said that if women are discouraged from entering professions dominated by men, this could be pushing down their pay and contributing to the gender pay gap.
Dr Drydakis’s study centred on a theory promoted by Cambridge University professor Simon Baron-Cohen that women’s brains are generally hardwired for empathy, making them good at working out what people are feeling and responding appropriately.
Men, in contrast, tend to be better at “systemising” – dealing with patterns, rules and mechanics. However, despite the labels, not all men have a “male brain” and not all women have a “female brain”.
Dr Drydakis studied data on more than 16 000 men and women from across Britain who supplied information about their occupation and salary. They also filled in a questionnaire to determine whether they had a “male” or ‘”emale” brain.
Someone with a “male brain” might say that they would easily fix an electrical problem at home, while admitting that they would reply truthfully when their wife or girlfriend asks “does my bum look big in this?” In contrast, someone with a “female brain” might be flummoxed by DIY but would be more considerate of feelings.
The results revealed that on average a man with a “male brain” earned 9.8 percent more than one with a “female brain”, while a woman with a “male brain” earned 6.3 percent more.
Some patterns of thinking bring greater rewards in some occupations than others. Having a “male brain” brings higher salaries in management, admin, IT, engineering and banking, while having a “female brain” helps get a pay rise in teaching, social work and customer services.
Those with a brain that is equally good at systemising and empathising tended to have salaries that fell in the middle, according to the research published by the IZA, the German-based Institute for the Study of Labour.