Real women, real facts

October 15, 1999

I was fascinated by Natalie Fenton's account of why performance-related pay is bad for women ("Women - don't buy this line", THES, October 1).

For example, I never knew that "the industrialisation of loAlo higher education has led to a work environment that is competitive, individualistic and often confrontational - a system that favours and is favoured by men"; unfortunately, Fenton does not cite any evidence/sources to back this statement, which in itself is rather confrontational.

I would also benefit from knowing why "women spend more time on administrative duties and pastoral care than men" if they know that such activities are not "deemed worthy in terms of promotion".

Alas, no explanation is offered for this; instead it is concluded (I still have not figured out on what basis) that "women's performance" then is "low-grade and low-paid".

Finally, in my field (business and management), I cannot agree that "most women academics do not have dependants". My boss is a woman. Some of the top academics in my field are women. Most of my co-authors and research collaborators are women -and, yes, they do have husbands and children.

Many outstanding teachers and researchers in my department are women. Several of my best research students have been women.

All of these women have made it because they are gifted, motivated and hard-working individuals - and, believe me, they are not afraid of PRP (or anything else).

A. Diamantopoulos Chair of marketing and business research, and research director Business school Loughborough University

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