Book Review: The Authority Gap

Article by Macsene Isles-Ahite CEng MIChemE

Mary Ann Sieghart; ISBN: 9781784165888; Black Swan (an imprint of Transworld Publishers); 2022; £10.99

IN The Authority Gap, Mary Ann Sieghart deep dives into compelling data showing that women are underestimated and undervalued by everyone irrespective of social standing, job title, or role, and provides frighteningly forthright anecdotal evidence from powerful and influential women and men.

Through statistical data, the book presents overwhelming evidence that conscious and unconscious bias exists in every aspect of life. The statistical data was inclusive of various definitions of gender, different ethnic groups, and people from all over the world. It shows that bias is particularly prevalent at the higher levels of business, politics, and academic institutions.

I enjoyed reading about the experiences of the many interviewees; there were some poignant historical moments examined through the lens of gender (in)equity and gender (in)equality. Chapter 2, titled The view from the other side, recounts the experiences of two individuals who transitioned. One from (cis) male to (trans) female and the other from (cis) female to (trans) male. They provided examples to demonstrate that as males, whether cis or trans, they experienced significantly more authority than as females. I especially like that the author goes to great lengths to demonstrate that systemic sexism is pervasive, and that it can and does have a detrimental impact on society. I found it incredibly comforting when Sieghart espoused the virtues of transformational leadership because I practise this style of leadership in my professional and personal interactions.

Article by Macsene Isles-Ahite CEng MIChemE

IChemE Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Trustee Champion

Recent Editions

Catch up on the latest news, views and jobs from The Chemical Engineer. Below are the four latest issues. View a wider selection of the archive from within the Magazine section of this site.