Gender equality within junior enterprises: the effect of President’s gender

gender equality business

(Matt Lee, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Maxime Delatte, the Executive Vice President of Solvay Consulting Club (SCC). The opinions discussed in this article belong to the writer.


Nowadays, gender equality is all over the news. Legally, culturally and organisationally, it is shaping today’s world. However, several factors are playing a pivotal role in bridging the gap between man and woman.

As gender equality is of growing matter within global organisation, a stretch to Junior Enterprise (JE) was a relevant category to be addressed. A Junior Enterprise is a non-profit organisation fully led and managed by students. Its goal is to professionalise the academic cursus of students through extra-curricular activities directly in contact with real-life companies. It’s linking professional practical experience to theoretical knowledge acquired in class. In today’s economy, JE’s are to be taken into account as undeniable entities as part of the business world; They account, in Europe, for around 15M EUR per year in turnover.

It all started with an anecdote during supper on a evening of October 2019. As board members from the Solvay Consulting Club noticed, this semester was surprisingly full of women within our club.   A long discussion followed therefore wondering whether it was due to internal or external factors; Is it a pure coincidence? Was our communication towards women better this year? Or is it linked to the fact that our president is a woman herself?

In 2018-2019, the Solvay Consulting Club had the pleasure to have a woman at its head. With regards to major KPI’s for the SCC 2020 vision, the long term action plan developed to ensure continuity, gender equality ranges first. As a matter of fact, this year was only the second time a president was a woman in the club’s 8 year existence.

From that point on, it was interesting to measure whether the president’s gender played a role in the recruitment of women within the club. In 2018-2019, the club welcomed 48 new consultants. Out of the 48 consultants, 30 were women. The year before, a man was president. Out of 53 members, 22 of them were women. The trends goes back over the past couple of years; In 2016-2017, the first semester saw 34 members with 19 women and a female president, whereas the second semester counted 28 consultants from which 10 were women. As you can guess, the president during the second semester was a man.

It is clear to the author that the president’s gender is of paramount importance in the recruitment of women being consultant. Therefore, one way to achieve more gender equally among members would be to elect a female at the head of its JE.

Some may wonder why throughout its existence, the association -The SCC- only saw 2 women president. First described by psychologists at the University of Michigan in 1973, Queen Bee effect depicts a woman in a position of power and authority, in a man-dominated environment. The effect becomes relevant to the extend that the woman in power treats her subordinates more harshly if they are female. This effect is under no circumstances internal. Indeed, gender equality is not hindered because of women themselves, but rather because of the behaviour and representation of male and female in business settings. As stated by Prof Ellemers who studied gender inequality in the workplace for 20 years, it is a response to sexism and a way to adopt male characteristics, in order to succeed. Even if it has been eluded in the last editions of the Deloitte Woman in boardroom analyses, this effect gained significant exposure as well as relevance in the literature.

Would it be possible that such behaviour is displayed in a structure like a student club? For the author, behaviours are changing and fortunately, at a even faster pace within a flexible and dynamic framework. That is, Junior Entreprise. Therefore, it is useful to be aware of the Queen Bee effect to ultimately better embrace gender equality.

As a final word, one may argue that the external validity of such observations do not hold true in every JE around the globe. It is indeed irrefutable and the reason why more data are needed.

About Solvay Consulting Club

The « Solvay Consulting Club » was founded in 2011 by Solvay students and high-quality partners from the consulting world such as McKinsey and AT Kearney. The club is based in Brussels, Belgium. The main objective of the Junior Enterprise is to provide companies with solutions in various domains; mostly Business but also Engineering. The SCC purpose is to create a real added value for companies along with giving first-hand experience to students.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

FROM THE FIELD: ‘A piece of me’ was taken

Companies ‘failing’ to address offline harm incited by online hate: UN expert

Facilitating the access to finance and risk capital for SMEs and midcaps

Easing US-China trade tensions could save millions of jobs: Asia-Pacific UN report

UN rights experts call on Russia to release Ukrainian film-maker whose life is in ‘imminent danger’

The Netherlands is paying people to cycle to work

10 of Albert Einstein’s best quotes

More bank bailouts at taxpayers’ expenses

Water supply a human right but Greeks to lose their functioning utilities

Health is nothing but the main consequence of climate change

Two peacekeepers killed in an attack against UN convoy in Mali

More, not less, multilateralism is needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic

The decline of our oceans is accelerating, but it’s not too late to stop it

3 ways blockchain can accelerate sustainable development

The business case for diversity in the workplace is now overwhelming

Why do medical students seek for work abroad?

Why are the financial markets shivering again?

COVID-19 is more deadly for some ethnic groups

Why Europe is more competitive than the US

IMF: Sorry Greece it was a mistake of 11% of your GDP

UN underscores the need to celebrate indigenous peoples, not confine them

‘Step backwards’ for Bosnia’s autonomous Serb region as assembly reneges on Srebrenica genocide report

Parliament to vote on new European Commission on 27 November

Here are 3 alternative visions for the future of work

MEPs want to fund crucial areas to stimulate European growth

Discrimination in the medical curriculum: are medical schools providing students with equal access to the medical profession?

As Marvel’s first comic book fetches $1.26 million, here are five things to know about the superhero business

EU4FairWork: Commission launches campaign to tackle undeclared work

3 reasons why AI won’t replace human translators… yet

OECD economic scenarios to 2060 illustrate the long-run benefits of structural reforms

European Defence Fund on track with €525 million for Eurodrone and other joint research and industrial projects

UN rights office calls for action to end ‘repression and retaliation’ in crisis-torn Nicaragua

UN Climate Action Summit concludes with insufficient EU and global pledges

Greek-Turkish border: MEPs reject Turkey’s pressure, demand common asylum rules

How to turn a traditional business into a platform-based success

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ford trumpets new in-vehicle system, “fundamentally rethinks” transportation

China-EU Relations: Broader, Higher and Stronger

Monday’s Daily Brief: global homicide figures, neo-Nazi recruitment, Kashmir, and migrants’ plight in USA

World ‘not yet on track’ to ensure children a better future: UN rights chief

EU approves close to €240 million to strengthen resilience in neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees in light of the coronavirus pandemic

Why medical students decide to study abroad?

Humanitarian migration falls while labour and family migration rises

Here’s how to achieve an optimal student/tutor ratio

Plastic Oceans: MEPs back EU ban on polluting throwaway plastics by 2021

“America first” policy goes against EU-US partnership, say MEPs

The planet’s health is our health: why healthcare must go green

How do we build trust between humans and AI?

At this Italian bookshop, children swap their recycling for something to read

Posting of workers: final vote on equal pay and working conditions

Cambodia loses duty-free access to the EU market over human rights concerns

This is where obesity places the biggest burden on healthcare

Statistics show the ugly face of youth training schemes

Vaccination: European Commission and World Health Organization join forces to promote the benefits of vaccines

Cameron readies to support ‘yes’ for Britain in the EU

New Zealand Prime Minister opens door to 4-day working week

Will Merkel ever steer the EU migration Titanic and restore her power in Germany?

3.7 million lives could be saved by 2025 if health services ramp up nutrition actions: WHO

How to create a world where healthcare is a right, not a luxury

Closing VAT loopholes for sales through online platforms

This massive project in Spain is the latest milestone in Europe’s solar power boom

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s