Nice guys make less than ‘highly disagreeable’ men
“Everyone says you’re the nicest person they know at work. You’re considerate, you value relationships and pitch in to be a good team player. But are you also being a sucker? New research has found that even if nice guys don’t always finish last, they’re very likely to have a lot less in their pay cheques than those who put their own needs ahead of others.
Men who score on personality tests as highly disagreeable tend to earn more than 18 per cent more – an average of $9,700 more a year – than men who were scored as most agreeable. Agreeableness made less of a difference in women, but it still meant an average 5-per-cent salary gap for nice gals. …
To find out why, they ran their own experiment with students in business management classes who were asked to role play as human resource managers for a fictional company. Each was presented with single-paragraph descriptions of eight entry-level candidates for a consultant position. Participants were randomly assigned descriptions of eight female or eight male candidates (to disguise the gender component of the study) and were asked which ones should be placed on a fast track to management.
All the candidates were described as conscientious, smart, and insightful, and all the descriptions ended with notes, such as “Observation: seems to be candid and trusting,” or, “Observation: his/her natural competitiveness was apparent.” In assessing the fast-track potential of candidates, the business students were somewhat more likely to favour men over women. But their aversion to agreeableness, particularly among men, was remarkably strong. …”