Women Don't Just Earn Less, They Get Less Credit for Their Work, Too

By Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy

As if the pay gap weren't bad enough, a study published last week found that there’s a credit gap too. When men and women work together, men tend to get more credit for the project than women do.

The research, done by Heather Sarsons and published in the Harvard Business Review [pdf], found when women work with men on successful group projects — with equal participation — the positive impact is stronger on the men's careers than it is on the women's. 

Sarsons did the research in her own profession, looking at submission and publication rates for academic papers. (A key factor in in getting tenure). First, the good news: When individual women and men wrote and published papers on their own, they earned tenure at about the same rate. Then, the bad news: When men and women coauthored and published work, the men earned tenure at a far higher rate — nearly double the rate for women — even after controlling for things like productivity differences, school, year of tenure, field, and coauthor selection." As The New York Times put it, "The story seems to be that when Janet writes with George, her colleagues infer that George deserves the credit."

In other words: Men who work with women get credit for the work accomplished — and the promotions that come with that. So what’s a woman to do? Perhaps just take heed of Beyonce’s "Formation" and follow her edict of "Get what’s mine / Take what’s mine / I'm a star."

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