In the Politics section
“Mary Ann Sieghart’s The Authority Gap (Doubleday), a study of why women still struggle to be taken seriously in professional life, goes some way to explaining why the default template for leaders is an Oxbridge-educated white man. Crackling with controlled anger, it features some eye-popping stories and a stellar cast of interviewees, from presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and former Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt to the novelist Bernardine Evaristo. Buy it for any woman ever talked over in a meeting, or patronised by a man who knows less than them.”
In the Philosophy and Ideas section
“Mary Ann Sieghart, a former Times columnist, explores how society’s “implicit” bias against women affects even those at the very top. The book is founded on interviews with powerful women, from Hillary Clinton to the judge Brenda “Spiderwoman” Hale. It’s also chockful of dispiriting statistics. For instance, one study found that men thought women were dominating the conversation, even when they spoke for only 30 per cent of the time. Only 19 per cent of experts quoted in the British media are women.”
Interview with Matthew Taylor
In our age of heightened awareness around equality and diversity, do we live in a world where sexism is no longer an issue and the pay gap has disappeared? Not according to Mary Ann Sieghart. She joins Matthew to discuss her new book, ‘The Authority Gap’, which reveals the extent to which gender bias still exists today.
Interview with Greg Canty
“Changing the world one man at a time!”
On this episode I chat with political and economic journalist, broadcaster, non-executive director and author of the best seller, The Authority Gap, Mary Ann Sieghart. Her life experiences and three years of extensive research brought her to writing this book and taking on the challenge of closing the gender gap.
Mary Ann wants men to listen so here we are…
Interview with the linguist Michaela Mahlberg
In this episode, we talk about how Mary Ann’s experience as a journalist enabled her to write this book, she shares plenty of examples from interviews and research studies. We talk about women finding their strengths, gender and the climate crisis, the profound effect of fiction, films and TV on how we see the world, and the accumulation of small solutions needed to change the situation for women. You will also get a glimpse of Mary Ann’s next book.
A lovely conversation with two of the country’s best and funniest broadcasters, encompassing my faceblindness as well as The Authority Gap.
In conversation with the behavioural scientist, Dr Grace Lordan
Talking about the authority gap and about how it has affected her in her life.
From a young age, we are taught what the appropriate behaviour is for boys and girls. Through repeated exposure over the years we come to know how men and women are meant to behave. These beliefs are then used to make judgments about women at work. When women succeed in traditionally male-dominated roles, they defy the expectations society has for women and they are punished for it.
On today’s episode we are going to unpack how inequality at work also creates backlash when it comes to authority. Joining us on the show is Mary Ann Sieghart who will talk about her new book The Authority Gap and how to address and counteract systemic sexism in ways that benefit us all.
Sarah Vine and her friend, author Imogen Edwards-Jones talk thyroid problems (and why so many women seem to suffer from them) with Lyn Mynott of Thyroid UK, and talk to Mary Ann Sieghart, author of The Authority Gap on why women are STILL ignored (and how Dads can help).
Our conversation starts at about 22:30.
My article in Perspective magazine
Imagine this. Theresa May was never toppled, and Boris Johnson is still making trouble on the backbenches. May has finally extricated Britain from the EU but, more importantly for these purposes, she is prime minister in the time of Covid. Do you think she would have missed the first five Cobra meetings at the start of the pandemic? Can you envisage her blithely shaking hands with coronavirus patients and then boasting about it? Would she have delayed putting India on the red list because she wanted to sign a trade deal?
Would the UK have ended up with one of the highest death rates in Europe?
I very much doubt it, and I’m not even a fan of hers. I don’t think she was a good prime minister. But she was at least diligent, conscientious, cautious and thoughtful, none of which traits belong to the current incumbent, but all of which have been exemplified by the best leaders in this pandemic. Think of Jacinda Ardern or Angela Merkel, and compare their record with Johnson, Trump, Bolsonaro, Putin, Modi and Erdoğan.
Review in The Irish Independent by Frieda Klotz
Back in 2003, Mary McAleese had a meeting with Pope John Paul II as part of an official visit to the Vatican.
They were about to be introduced when the Pope stretched out his hand to her husband Martin, asking: “Would you not prefer to be President of Ireland rather than married to the President of Ireland?” McAleese reached out and shook the Pope’s hand as it hovered in the air. “I am the President of Ireland… elected by the people of Ireland, whether you like it or whether you don’t.”
This is one of dozens of revealing tales to emerge from Mary Ann Sieghart’s The Authority Gap, which probes why women are taken less seriously than men. The book is enormously authoritative, knitting together academic studies with interviews of leading public figures.
Why are some men reluctant to read books by women and to follow or retweet women on Twitter?
This week’s guest is author, journalist, radio presenter and former assistant editor of The Times – Mary Ann Sieghart. In this new LBC podcast, Rachel Johnson’s Difficult Women, Rachel speaks with women who had to be a pain in the backside to get where they are today. Women who take the word difficult as a compliment not an insult. And women who had to fight, resist, insist, or otherwise be badly behaved in order to get things done.
Women may be caricatured as babbling chatterboxes, but in public, women speak a lot less. Be it in conferences or committee meetings, television or parliamentary debates, women do not get a proportionate amount of air space as men. Mary Ann takes us on a global journey to find out why women aren’t speaking up and if they are being disproportionally side-lined, excluded from the world’s debates.
She explores the role history and social conditioning plays: the ancient Babylonians thought if a woman spoke in public, she should have her teeth smashed with a burnt brick; in classrooms today boys get far more attention, teachers accepting their calling out of answers, while punishing girls for the same behaviour.
She hears that when women do speak, they are often spoken over regardless of their status. In the Australian High Court, women judges and even the female presiding judge were regularly interrupted by male advocates. And women aren’t heard in the same way as men; many struggle to see that a woman might be the expert in the room.
Review by Tim Adams
“The unassailable argument of Mary Ann Sieghart’s book The Authority Gap is that women continue to have far less voice than men in all forms of public life. Early last week, Sieghart made a determined personal effort to redress that balance, at least for an hour or so. Her investigation, Speak Up, made suitably uncomfortable listening for male ears.”
Interview with Georgina Godwin
By now we are all aware of the pay gap between genders but what about the gaps that are harder to quantify? On this week’s ‘Monocle Reads’ Georgina Godwin speaks to journalist and academic Mary Ann Sieghart about her latest book ‘The Authority Gap’, which examines the disparity between men and women – one that can take different shapes but clearly permeates the lives of many women.
“My guest in this week’s books podcast is Mary Ann Sieghart, whose new book The Authority Gap accumulates data to show that so-called ‘mansplaining’ isn’t a minor irritation but the manifestation of something that goes all the way through society: women are taken less seriously than men, even by other women. She says it’s not just ‘wokery’ to point it out, and she makes the case for how she thinks it came to be, what we can do to change it, and why we should take the trouble.”