The Pollitzer on Asks Visitors to Explain Gender Bias Among Top Chefs

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Recent gender studies show that only two in ten professional chefs are women. The Pollitzer on, an online personality test resource designed to help users make education and career choices, solicits public opinion on the reason behind the gender bias among top chefs., an online resource centered on the Empathizing-Systemizing (EQ SQ) theory and how different personality traits apply to educational and career choices, invites visitors to cast their vote on The Pollitzer (, an interactive poll. A new question on The Pollitzer asks visitors to speculate on the reason behind gender bias among top chefs. Recent gender studies show that only two in ten professional chefs are women.

"At risk of sounding sexist, misguided opinion resulting in perceived gender discrimination is often the source of conflict," said Katrina Boydon, author of the Weekly Whims column on "We have observed apparent gender bias in many industries and professions where we shouldn't expect an equal representation of men and women. Perhaps the discrepancy in the culinary industry is simply another example of a split based on empathizing and systemizing traits."

The Pollitzer ( poses the question "Why are there more top male chefs than female chefs?" To date 40 percent of poll respondents believe the reason to be "men do not have to balance work and family." Other possible reasons include: "men are more career driven," "men are more talented," and "men have more physical stamina." Results of the ongoing poll can be viewed immediately after answering the question. This question will remain live on The Pollitzer for the next several weeks.

A recent Chicago Sun-Times piece quotes data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and National Restaurant Association. It seems that female chefs comprise 21 percent of top culinary positions with male chefs making up the other 79 percent. The James Beard Foundation's "American Express Best Chef by Region Awards" demonstrates even greater gender discrepancy among top chefs in the period from 2002 through 2005. The majority of winners were men (86 percent) with women representing only 14 percent of the top prize winners.

The Pollitzer is one of several online resources on that challenge visitors to think about gender stereotypes and how the mind works. Currently, other questions on The Pollitzer cover fashion design, vacation planning, home repair and online education. centers on the Empathizing-Systemizing theory of the male versus the female brain types. The tests were developed by professor Simon Baron-Cohen and Sally Wheelwright at the University of Cambridge, England. Systemizers and empathizers can find information and resources for education, educational programs and career-choice.


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