Redefiners podcast: Doubling Down on Double Standards

Gender bias is everywhere, impacting how we view authority and power around the world. In fact, it’s so pervasive — and potentially damaging to organizations — that our guest Mary Ann Sieghart wrote a book about it titled Authority Gap, which explores the critical issue of why women are often taken less seriously than men. This unconscious, double standard behavior affects the C Suite, boardrooms, and conference rooms alike — even the US Supreme Court and UK Parliament. We talk with Mary Ann – journalist, author, non-executive director, and television broadcaster – about why organizations and boards need to change gender bias culture and how to make the critical shift from the top down. It’s a thought-provoking conversation well worth the listen for leaders of any gender.

Books by women that every man should read

Studies show men avoid female authors. Ahead of the Women’s prize for fiction, chair of judges Mary Ann Sieghart finds out why 

The film-maker Richard Curtis realised during the first lockdown that he would at last have time to immerse himself in books. More specifically books by women, “to compensate for 63 years of male bias”, he explains. “It’s been an amazing two years: the glory of Anne TylerAnn PatchettAli SmithZadie SmithDaphne du MaurierChimamanda Ngozi Adichie and so many others.”

Now, 32 books later, he has become positively evangelical. When a male friend had a birthday recently, Curtis gave him four novels by female writers. “I have given away more copies of Olive Kitteridge [by Elizabeth Strout] than you can imagine,” he says. “I spend my whole time romping through bookshops saying: ‘Why haven’t you got more Anne Tyler novels on your shelves?’ I’ve had a genuine epiphany in terms of the novels that I read.”