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Women compete better in teams

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Summary of story from The Observer, September 11, 2011

Women are more likely than men to enter competitions if they can compete as part of a team.

A report in the Economic Journal found that, given a choice whether to solve problems individually or in a team, 81 per cent of men chose the solo option compared to 28 per cent of women.

Andrew Healy and Jennifer Pate, who wrote the report, said the results could have implications for setting a more level playing field in elections and the corporate structure.

For example, women are three times more likely to be elected in countries with party lists, such as Germany and New Zealand.

Changing competition style could also help address the lack of women chief executives of FTSE 100 companies.

“While qualified women opt out,” said Pate, “unqualified men opt in. As a result, the gender competition gap may result in organisations failing to select the most qualified leaders.”

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