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Mary-Jane Kingsland: What do the latest IQ figures show?

13:30 25 July 2012

The Norwich Business Women

The Norwich Business Women's Network group chairman, Mary-Jane Kingsland. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant 2012

As a vociferous advocate for equality in the workplace I was thrilled to read that it’s official, ladies, according to the latest research, women are brighter than men.

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Since IQ testing began a century ago, women have been lagging behind, suggesting a fundamental genetic difference.

The gap has been disappearing over the years but now women have moved ahead, according to James Flynn, a world-renowned expert in IQ testing.

Since IQ testing became a test of intelligence, scores for both men and women have risen, but it would appear that women’s have risen faster.

Mr Flynn attributes this to “a consequence of modernity” – or to put it another way the complexities and demands of modern life are forcing an evolutionary shift, which is raising our IQ.

One reason for the rise in women’s IQs could be that working women’s lives are a plethora of juggling and multitasking.

Another is that women have a higher potential intelligence and are only now employing it.

What ever way you look at it, we have risen to the challenge. According to the government’s vital statistics, the current amount of mothers working is almost equal to that of women without children, accounting for 65.5pc of mothers in work.

This raises the thorny issue of work-life balance. A client asked me only the other day, with a view to improving her ability to overcome the juxtaposition of work and family, how I kept all of the plates spinning, all of the time? And the answer – I don’t, it’s impossible.

Sometimes one or more may stop spinning and crash spectacularly, but it’s important to recognise and celebrate that part of our make-up that enables us to even attempt, let alone maintain any sort of equilibrium in our portfolio lives.

Yet a lot of women fail to embrace how competent and intelligent they are, despite all evidence to the contrary and are blighted by a lack of confidence in their own abilities.

These self-limiting beliefs are sometimes labelled ‘the Impostor Syndrome’ and while not unique to women, it’s well documented that we are more likely to agonise over small mistakes and attribute our accom-plishments to luck rather than skill; fearing that seemingly inevitable day when the mask will slip and we will be irredeemably exposed and seen for the frauds we really are.

I recognise it in myself. Well now you know that you no longer need to hide your light under a bushel or indeed employ any other proverb that leads anyone or more importantly you, to think that you are any less than you truly are.

We are not equal, we are evolutionary top scorers. Hurrah!

Mary-Jane Kingsland MA, MAC, FRSA is a business coach and accredited emotional intelligence practitioner

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