reader speech This is an entry in the discussion, written by an external contributor. The publication expresses the views of the author.
The other day I discovered that I nodded the average weight of Norwegian women in the Norwegian Institute of Health and Welfare’s mapping of the dietary habits and body weight of adults in Norway. A scale I last saw when I was pregnant at 23. I had my whole life ahead of me, I was in the first year of my bachelor’s degree in economics at BI Business School in Gjøvik and had just moved home to Hov after a few years of computer science studies at Rena in the deep and intense woods of Østerdalen student life.
With the courage of youth, I would turn the newspaper at night while Baby 1 had sweet dreams. During the day I went to a lecture at BI. I was young and used to party like a little one, so it went like a dream. A dream ended in Oslo with a baby 2 and shared a bedroom with his brother in Uppsal. Man and child ruled the house and the village chief wondered what kind of mother I really was who had left the young father to father–a question he almost would never have asked if he had done something similar; Being a mother and a student, Osupindelindi was definitely bordering on neglect, I should know.
With a new bachelor’s degree in economics, finances were secured and life flourished. For me, I’m not quite done. Baby 3 was fact and master studies attracted daily life with burping, diapers and colic. Oslo was at my feet again, with a breast pump and a new stay with my brother. In the spring of 2013, I finished writing my master’s thesis, and my youngest and youngest had book anxiety the same year I turned 39. I thought my career could finally flourish.
Or is it possible?
With an Executive Master of Management in the bag and a 40-year birthday celebrated with half a year of rhetorical study to slow my scholastic life, it began to dawn on me that women’s 40 was governed more by women’s quotas than by competence and experience. As the world’s third most equal country, men nonetheless earn NOK 6,090 more per year than women according to Statistics Norway. They are more often heads, but they do better in school. In Ledern’s article on gender and management, there are still few female managers. Of the 70 new senior management hires, only 18 were women according to Core’s 2020 Senior Management Barometer.
In a study they conducted among 24,000 managers in public and private organizations in Sweden in 2017, Samuli Knüpfer, professor in the Department of Finance at the BI School of Business, and his research colleagues showed that having a family was the reason for not having less than half. A female director is more likely to become a senior manager in a large company than her male colleague. The study also showed that she is less likely to end up among the top ten percent who earn the most.
Former supervisor and lecturer at BI in Nydalen, Professor Øyvind L. Martinsen and Professor Lars Glasø, reviewed data on personality traits from more than 2,900 Norwegian managers, drawn from the AFF’s comprehensive management survey.
There they concluded that female managers have, on average, higher values than men on four of the five personality traits that international research shows are important to being an effective leader:
- Initiative ability, clarity and communication.
- The ability to innovate and explore.
- Care and social communication.
- Ability to work according to a plan towards goals.
- The ability to handle stress and tension at work.
On the last point, men scored higher.
Recent management research says that women in management are wise. On the other hand, Norwegian women choose for family considerations, their health and the desire for more free time, Katherine Egeland, a researcher at OsloMet, believes. The share of part-time work culture among women is 37 percent, it is approx. 90 percent of these work voluntarily, part-time (Spekter). This may be an explanation for the fact that men earn better than women on average, and that we have fewer women in senior management positions.
At Innlandet Høyre we believe that a safer, more family-friendly work life may be the answer. A life of work that has made room for both mothers of young children and well-educated ladies for nearly 50 years. One thing is for sure anyway – no one should go out on a date.
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