Libby Mueller, Senior Staff Writer

A new era may be dawning in schools and workplaces as women gain more footholds academically and economically.

The Office for National Statistics reported that the gender pay gap fell under 10 percent for the first time at the end of 2011.

The male employment rate has also fallen while the female employment rate has risen over time, narrowing the gap between the two, according to the Office for National Statistics.

According to the Miami University Office of Institutional Research, women outperform men academically at Miami.

The average GPA for undergraduate males at the end of fall 2011 was 2.95, while the average female GPA was 3.18.

Management Professor Rocco Manzo said that last spring, the average GPA for women was 3.24 and the men’s average GPA was 2.95.

“That’s some evidence that suggests women are achieving at a higher rate than men,” Manzo said.

However, Manzo said he has not seen differences in performance levels in his classes.

“My personal experience in my classes is I haven’t seen any noticeable difference between male and female performance,” Manzo said.

Professor of psychology Amanda Diekman said there may be possible underlying reasons for why women perform better than men in classroom settings. 

“We don’t know, but there may be a conscious or subconscious awareness of a double standard for men and women,” Diekman said. “Women may realize they are entering male-dominated fields and have to be especially proficient [in school].” 

Marti Kyger, assistant dean and director of divisional advising at the Farmer School of Business (FSB), said that Miami University reflects the national trend of men stagnating economically and academically while women improve in some aspects.

“My experience is that more women have transferred into the business school and more males have transferred out year after year,” Kyger said.

But Kyger also said that men are not falling behind women as far as entrance into the business school is concerned.

“The incoming freshman business class is 64 percent male, which is the highest I’ve ever known,” Kyger said.

There is also a greater proportion of males in engineering at Miami, according to the Office of Institutional Research, although females outnumber males in education, arts and science and creative arts.

Senior Bekah Linton is involved in the Buck Rodgers Business Leadership Program and is an FSB ambassador. She said that she does not see Miami men falling behind women in her organizations.

“I don’t think it’s true that there are more girls than guys stepping up. There are roughly the same amount of guys and girls stepping up as far as the organizations I’m in,” Linton said.

Aaron Nightingale, vice president of professional development for Pi Sigma Epsilon, said that men are feeling pressure to secure good jobs after college and succeed.

“I think men have always been under pressure to get a good job and support their family,” Nightingale said. “They’re held to that high standard. For instance, I’m putting myself through school right now and looking for work experience to get a good job.”

Manzo said that both men and women at Miami, in his experience, seem to feel comparable pressure to achieve, especially with a competitive job market and selective graduate programs.

Nightingale also said that there has been an increase in women obtaining upper level management jobs.

“Ten to 15 years ago, you didn’t see women in leadership positions in corporations. There are also more women presidents in organizations nowadays and that may translate to women taking the higher salaries,” Nightingale said.

Nightingale said that this trend is a positive thing.

“I think it’s good [that more women are in leadership positions]. If you work hard, you should be able to reap the results from it,” Nightingale said.