Question Set 4: As people age, both men and women are acknowledged for their increasing capabilities. However, a recent study reveals a stark gender disparity in perceptions of warmth as individuals grow older. The research, a pioneering examination of age and gender stereotypes, highlights the deeply ingrained biases that persist even when presented with identical information about men and women.
Astonishingly, female professors experienced a decline in evaluations as they transitioned from their 30s to their 40s, hitting a low point around the age of 47, while their male counterparts maintained consistent evaluations. Interestingly, after the age of 47, evaluations for women rebounded, reaching parity with men in their early 60s, possibly benefiting from different stereotypes associated with older women, such as being seen as more grandmotherly. The study also sheds light on challenges faced by women in their mid-30s to late 40s, including the “motherhood penalty,” where assumptions about parenting impact perceptions of commitment to careers, affecting hiring, promotions, and wages.
Women executives note facing “hyper-scrutiny” and skepticism, reflecting biases related to likability versus agency. Gendered workplace networks, favoring men with greater access to senior leaders, solidify mid-career, presenting an additional hurdle for women. Negative perceptions of middle-aged women are also linked to stereotypes surrounding menopause, with studies revealing associations with negative emotions, illness, and aging.
Previous Year Question Set 4
Question: If the author’s observations about gender-specific networks in the workplace hold true, what would be the most probable outcome or implication?
(A) Mid-career women often face challenges in connecting with senior leaders, who are typically male, unlike their male colleagues. This can make it more difficult for them to access career progression or new opportunities.
(B) Contrary to their male counterparts, mid-career women find it relatively easier to establish connections with senior leaders, who are usually male. This advantage can lead to smoother career progression and increased opportunities.
(C) Mid-career women, unlike their male colleagues, may encounter obstacles in reaching out to senior leaders, often male. This difficulty in access can result in a tougher path towards career progression and finding new opportunities.
(D) In contrast to their male counterparts, mid-career women find it easier to connect with senior leaders, typically male. This advantage, however, doesn’t necessarily mean they face greater challenges in terms of career progression or accessing new opportunities.
Question: How might the “motherhood penalty” impact individuals, as discussed by the author?
(A) People are more hesitant to hire men from their mid 30s to their late 40s but may be more willing to hire women of a similar age.
(B) People are more hesitant to hire women from their mid 30s to their late 40s but may be more willing to hire men of a similar age.
(C) Women from their mid 30s to their late 40s always prioritise parenting responsibilities and so are not really interested in pursuing a career.
(D) Women who have children are less committed to their careers than men.
Question: In a scenario where professors’ promotions hinge primarily on their evaluations, what would be the expected result, considering the details mentioned in the passage?
(A) In their professional journey, male professors are expected to advance steadily in their careers, while female professors might face a decreased likelihood of promotion during the middle stage of their careers.
(B) Due to the significant divergence in the evaluations given to male and female professors, it is anticipated that the reliance on such evaluations will be phased out quickly.
(C) Both male and female professors are projected to receive promotions at a similar pace throughout their careers.
(D) Women professors are likely to encounter a consistent rate of promotion over the course of their careers, whereas male professors might experience a lower likelihood of advancement during the mid-career stage.
Question: Which of the following is the author most likely to disagree with?
(A) Many women going through menopause may choose to leave their jobs on their own terms.
(B) Unfortunately, women experiencing menopause may face challenges at work, including negative perceptions and obstacles to achieving their professional goals.
(C) It could be beneficial for women in menopause to have the option of taking a mid-career break.
(D) Despite the challenges, women navigating menopause can still be viewed positively at work and find success in their professional endeavors.
Question: Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the main argument in the passage?
(A) Many research studies from various countries indicate that as women grow older in the workplace, they tend to be viewed positively, receiving favorable treatment.
(B) On the contrary, some independent studies conducted globally suggest that aging women in professional settings may face negative perceptions and unfair treatment.
(C) It’s important to note that the studies referred to in the passage have been discredited since their publication, and it’s advised not to rely on their findings.
(D) The studies mentioned in the passage were based on relatively small sample sizes, making it inappropriate to draw broad conclusions about how men and women are perceived differently in the workplace.
Question: What piece of information, if correct, would make Laura Kray’s arguments less convincing?
(A) Women professors perceived as being ‘grandmotherly’ are regarded as being likeable and caring.
(B) Women professors perceived as being ‘grandmotherly’ are treated better by their colleagues and students.
(C) Women professors perceived as being ‘grandmotherly’ are regarded as being slow, inefficient, and outdated in their field.
(D) Women professors perceived as being ‘grandmotherly’ are regarded very highly and receive much more respect than younger women professors.
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