July 2021

A woman’s favourite position?

By Mark Mason

The female founders of Witchsy, a website where artists can sell their work, noticed that whenever they corresponded with men online, they were treated badly.

So they hit on a clever solution: they invented a male co-founder called Keith Mann. ‘It was like night and day,’ said one of them, Kate Dwyer. ‘It would take me days to get a response, but Keith could not only get a response . . . but also be asked if he wanted anything else.’

It’s one of many such tales in Mary Ann Sieghart’s book about the ‘authority gap’, the fact that ‘however much we claim to believe in equality, we are still, in practice, more reluctant to accord authority to women than to men, even when they are leaders or experts’.

About the author

Journalist, author, public speaker, consultant, non-executive director, broadcaster

Mary Ann Sieghart is author of the best-selling book, The Authority Gap: Why Women Are Still Taken Less Seriously Than Men, and What We Can Do About it. She spent 20 years as Assistant Editor and columnist at The Times and won a large following for her columns on politics, economics, feminism, parenthood and life in general. She has presented many programmes on BBC Radio 4, such as Start the Week, Profile, Analysis, Fallout and One to One. She chaired the revival of The Brains Trust on BBC2 and recently spent a year as a Visiting Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. She has chaired the Social Market Foundation think tank, is a Visiting Professor at King’s College London, and sits on numerous boards. She was Chair of the judges for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022.

Read Biography

Mary Ann Sieghart