…then I’m sorry to have to tell you but you’re probably very risk averse! And here’s why:
In 2004 a validated survey of over 22,000 individuals was taken to determine attitudes to risk taking with money. The analysis reveals several facts:
(1) Women are less willing to take risks than men, at all ages;
(2) Increasing age is associated with decreasing willingness to take risks;
(3) Taller individuals are more willing to take risks;
(4) Individuals with highly-educated parents are more willing to take risks.
Speaking as a 5ft 3inch (and almost a half) woman over 50 whose parents didn’t go to University can this be true? Am I risk averse?
The Institute for Leadership and Management also tells us women are risk averse too and this may account for why we don’t progress onto boards etc. Maybe so but there are a myriad other reasons too.
The implications are that being risk averse is a bad thing (psst, can I just throw in five words here -western world financial melt down).
Maybe definitions of risk are very male? Maybe the female of the species has a different idea of what constitutes a risk? Maybe we are good at evaluating possible negative outcomes? Maybe having babies makes us more protective? (But surely that would be true of chaps too?)
Tell me what you think? When did you last take a risk? What constitutes risky behaviour for you? Do you take risks at work? In your experience are you less risk averse than your male counterparts? If so, what do you think possible solutions could be?
Photo Credit by Sanja Gjenaro
Posted on June 1st, 2011 by Jane