The Japan Society
Events Past Events

Past Events

ARCHIVED Authority, Confidence and Gender in the Post-Pandemic World with Ian Robertson and Mary Ann Sieghart

Thursday 24 June 2021 / 12:00pm
Authority, Confidence and Gender in the Post-Pandemic World with Ian Robertson and Mary Ann Sieghart

Thursday 24 June 2021
12.00 noon - 1.00pm (BST)
8.00pm – 9.00pm (JST)
Check the time in your location

Booking Details
Free – Donations Welcome
Registration essential

Book online here

The activities of the Japan Society are made possible thanks to the support of its members. This event is free of charge and open to all. We realise that this is a difficult time for many people. However, if you are planning to attend and do not have a membership subscription as an individual or through your employer, please consider making a donation. You can find details of membership and how to join the Japan Society community here.

Following a series of webinars over the past year on the post-pandemic workplace and gender equality in Japan and the UK (*), Bill Emmott is joined by two well-known and distinguished guests to examine the psychological background notably for gender inequality but also for other management challenges: a scientist, Ian Robertson, and commentator, Mary Ann Sieghart.

When former prime minister and Japan Olympics Committee chair Yoshiro Mori made his notoriously offensive remarks accusing female board members of “talking too much” one of his associated sins was that of being wholly unoriginal. The notion he aired has been heard all around the world, along with other prejudices that continue to prevent managements from finding the full potential in their workforces, especially women. The deep-rooted nature of the problem is why Mary Ann Sieghart researched and wrote her new book, The Authority Gap: Why women are taken less seriously than men – and what we can do about it. Behind the issue of whether women are taken less seriously stands the question central to Ian Robertson’s new book: How Confidence Works. Why, he asks, do studies find that on average women are less confident (and behave less confidently) than men, even when they have equivalent skills and experience?

As companies in the UK and Japan grapple with new questions of how their offices and management styles might change post-COVID, they also need to think through how long-standing issues of gender equality and professional development can be addressed, and whether new working arrangements can be made to help these issues or might they harm them. What encouragement and guidance can be given to the next generations of both women and men entering or developing their careers in Japan and the UK about how to build up confidence, to counter unconscious bias and to overcome “the authority gap”?

And before that, how can our schools and universities equip students with the skills they will need to hold their own as they enter the workforce?

* Recordings of previous Japan Society webinars can be found via the following links:

Professor Ian Robertson is a neuroscientist and trained clinical psychologist. He is  is Co-Director of the Global Brain Health Institute (Trinity College Dublin and University of California at San Francisco) and T Boone Pickens Distinguished Professor at the Centre for Brain Health at University of Texas at Dallas.

His latest book How Confidence Works (Bantam Press, June 2021) explores the science behind self-belief, how it develops and the economic and political consequences. Previous publications include The Stress Test, Mind Sculpture, The Mind’s Eye, Stay Sharp and The Winner Effect. 

Mary Ann Sieghart is a current affairs commentator and presenter; she makes programmes for BBC Radio 4, such as ‘Why Are Even Women Biased Against Women?’ for Analysis, is a regular panellist on news and current affairs programmes and a Visiting Professor at Kings College, London. She has chaired the Social Market Foundation think tank and sits on numerous boards. From 1988 to 2007 she was Assistant Editor of The Times, working as Comment Editor and Arts Editor, and from 1992 -1999 as the paper’s chief political leader-writer. She has also worked at the Financial Times, The Economist and The Independent.

Her new book The Authority Gap (Doubleday, July 2021) asks why women are taken less seriously than men, and what we can do about it.

Explore our series of webinars with leading experts in politics, economy and media. More details on upcoming events and past webinar videos HERE