Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Girls Smarter Than Boys?

In the TV1 Debat Perdana of the theme “Talking Points, Youth and the Future of the Nation” aired on 17th July 2005, DAP Deputy Chairman, Dr Tan Seng Giaw noted that from 1995 to 2005, the number of women in public universities is 472,279 (59.2%) compared with men 326,024 (40.8%). That’s actually a whopping 150,000 difference between the two genders over the past 10 years. This is probably not taking into consideration the fact that the gender gap is probably worse today than it was back in 1995.

I have a confession to make – my Malaysian office of approximately 60 employees is made up of approximately 70% ladies and 30% men. So, many clients as well as my staff often poked fun that I’m totally biased in my recruitment process – that I only like to hire girls. And they liked to do that when my wife is around!

I’d often argue profusely that I make absolutely no gender distinctions in my recruitment process (its true!). I’m pretty transparent about my recruitment process:
  1. Most of the time, I use Jobstreet.com to advertise for candidates. I like Jobstreet because the website actually allows me to have an immediate overview of all candidates via a summary table with the key information. I’d shortlist and reject candidates immediately using the summary table by ticking the relevant checkboxes. The key evaluation criteria at this stage is the university the candidate attended, the grades achieved as well as the replies to my customised online tests. I’d only review the candidate’s complete resume at this stage if his grades/university falls into a “grey” area (in which case, his replies to the online questions and tests as well as his extra-curricular activities becomes crucial).

  2. The shortlisted candidates are typically around 4-8% of the all the resumes I received. So, for 300 applicants, I would expect to shortlist approximately 10-20 candidates. These candidates will be invited for an interview. Some 10-20% of the shortlisted candidates will not attend the interview for a variety of reasons (usually it’s because they have accepted another offer already). It is usually during the interview stage that I find out about the gender of the candidates.

  3. Out of the 8-15 candidates interviewed, offers will typically be made to 2-6 candidates, of which then another 1-2 candidates will reject the offer.
The process looks simple enough, and the only opportunity which I might have to be gender-biased will really be during the interview stage. Thankfully, the underlying statistics comes to my rescue.

I realised that after shortlisting the candidates from Jobstreet based on my criteria above, the gender ratio is already skewed typically to 60% females (or more). On top of that, from experience, I find that the likelihood of skipping an interview, rejecting a job offer as well as switching jobs within 1 month of employment is higher among guys.

Hence understandably, there are occasions whereby in a recruitment exercise, I may very well end up with no guys, and three girls. Absolutely nothing to do with any bias on my part!

Now, with this new statistics in hand made available by Dr Tan Seng Giaw, I’m now armed with another piece of reason as to why I end up with more ladies in my office, and totally absolves me of any gender bias – Girls are more intelligent, more hardworking than Guys!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where got true one? I work in office, also got girls and also got men. Men also work until 5:30 like girls. So how can girls are more hardworking than guys? Also, I do IQ test online, my friend Adeline also do. I score higher, so how can girls more intelligent?
Not true, even you come from Oxford, you cannot think properly.

Hisyam said...

I have to agree with Tony that women nowadays are hardworking and intelligent than guys although its a bit of an ego letdown.There is a study in the US which says that women are cleverer than their male counterpart..even in the public Universities.. the ratio is 70:30 men to women. Mr Anonymous online tests does not prove that you are intelligent. An intelligent person excels in their workplace and able to handle and solve problems.. Come on guys!! This is a wake up call to work and strive harder.. I dont want Malaysia to be ruled by some WOMEN..

Yun said...

Hmm...that's an interesting insight. But I still feel that this is just a generalization.

Men and women use their brains differently. Both sexes focus on different part of their brains in this sense. So it's hard to say who is more intelligent.

Then again, I support the fact that guys do better in math and physics than women. Hardworking or not....well it depends on upbringing and personal behaviour.

Cheers!

S-Kay said...

I agree with Yun totally. Everything said was exactly what I had in mind so no need to repeat. But I have to add though that females tend to take competition more seriously (when competing with other girls lah) while guys..they're more laid back somehow

Golf Addix said...

You won't find any correct answers to that arguement. Be it scientificly or religiously or whatever method you used. Education is good for any man or women , but performing at work is no longer related to education. How many new graduates knows how to handle office politics and carreer solutions.

w3s said...

Its very subjective..

It varies from case to case..

It also depending on the upbringing, education, even the people whom we mingled with.. In fact, that's how our attitude/characteristics are formed..

Statistical datas may show significant differences.. But that again, it doesn't mean that it is DEFINITELY ACCURATE.. That explains why a healthy man can dropped dead being diagnosed as MI (Heart attack) & yet some fat buggers with high cholesterols still can happily enjoying their fatty diet, of which they are not supposed to..

That's why, I don't agree on "Girls are more intelligent, more hardworking than Guys!" & vice versa..

Anisah said...

Anonymous, one (or two) individual-based evidence in any research/argument is usually accorded the lowest level of consideration. I also hope that we don't reduce ourselves to character assasination, I quote " even you come from Oxford, you cannot think properly."

Hisyam, I really don't have a problem if Malaysia were to have a female Prime Minister, if she is Muslim, she's not going to be Imam Masjid Negara, so what's there to worry about? I would rather like a capable, qualified women, then an incapable, unqualified men, merely because he has XY chromosomes and the ensuing appendage.

Tony's and Tan's observations are actually not dissimilar to trends in the UK and the US. The article was actually puublished with evidence in New Scientist of several weeks ago. I couldn't remember the issue number. I'm sure if one were to google it, one should get it.

One point that was glaring in that article and in Malaysia is, there is a significantly higher proportion of women in higher education, but that proportion is not reflected in faculty members (i.e. academics and professors in the UK and those getting tenure in the US). Women are not asking for affirmative action to improve their lot, that policy merely gives crutches to otherwise non-disabled individual. Women are just asking to be considered and evaluated on the same level as men. Whilst achievement towards that has been evident in offices, in middle-level positions, changes have yet to be seen in higher, top positions.

However, the flame is still burning. M.I.T. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the crème de la crème of engineering based research, is soon going to have a female President. Twenty years ago, it wouldn’t have been thought possible!

Muslims might be familiar with Aisha, a wife of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. She was the source of many Islamic traditions and during her time was The source of many Islamic law.

Therefore intelligent women who use their intelligence are not a new phenomena, contrary to (some) current conservative thinking, be it society-driven or religiously driven.

(Note: conservative, small C, not capital C, there’s no typo there. If you don’t spot anything amiss when reading it within the comment, please disregard this note).

Tony P said...

Don't worry lah Anisah. Don't think "Anon" post was meant to "character assasinate". I believe he was more tongue in cheek in his post :)

Anonymous said...

It should be TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design)

and not TED (Technology, Entertainment, Development)

as printed in that article.

I have found that it is good to strive to have a balance mix of male & female staff.

-- Old Man