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How much power men and women have profoundly influences how each behaves.

A report released by McKinsey &Company supports the idea that the one clear difference between men and women in the U.S. and much of the world is the amount of power each has in society. The report cites several studies showing that in countries where there is more gender equality, women’s performance is less constrained by stereotypes.

These studies showed that:

  • In countries with greater gender equality, women scored as well as men in math
  • In countries where women have more power and opportunity, women’s soccer teams achieved higher FIFA rankings
  • Women were less likely to negotiate successfully for higher salaries when they were expected to conform to expectations that they should be warm, deferential and undemanding.

The report also described a phenomenon where a “queen bee” — a solo woman in a high status group –sees other women as a foe to be thwarted. As more women emerge as leaders, the report says, “we hope to see the queen bee effect fade away entirely.”

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