Chatty women and strong, silent men

UBER was having a bad week: accusations of sexism in the ride-hailing company had turned it from a Silicon Valley “unicorn” into something more of an ogre. Matters were not helped by a board meeting to discuss the mess. Arianna Huffington, a director, cited research showing that the likelihood of a board bringing on a woman is higher if it already has at least one female member. David Bonderman, her colleague, quipped that this would just mean more talking. He later apologised and quit.

Some might quietly grumble that, rude or not, Mr Bonderman had a point. It is widely thought in the West that women talk more than men. One popular-science book called “The Female Brain” said they use three times as many words per day as men. Maybe that is why senators kept interrupting Kamala Harris, a Californian senator, during her questioning of Jeff Sessions, America’s attorney-general, at a hearing on June 13th. Or why Jim Holt, hosting a panel on cosmology at a science festival in New York,…Continue reading

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