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  • Published: 2 July 2021
  • ISBN: 9780857527578
  • Imprint: Doubleday
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $38.00

The Authority Gap

Why women are still taken less seriously than men, and what we can do about it

Based on new, original research and interviews with pioneering women including Baroness Hale, Mary Beard and Caitlin Moran, this is a fresh feminist take on how to address and counteract systemic sexism, perfect for fans of Invisible Women.

Imagine living in a world in which you were routinely patronised by women.

Imagine having your views ignored or your expertise frequently challenged by them.

Imagine trying to speak up in a meeting, only to be talked over by female colleagues.

Imagine subordinates resisting you as a boss, merely because you're a man.

Imagine being trolled by women on social media for daring to express an opinion.

Imagine people always addressing the woman you are with before you.

Now imagine a world in which the reverse of this is true.

The Authority Gap provides a startling perspective on the unseen bias at work in our everyday lives, to reveal the scale of the gap that still persists between men and women. Marshalling a wealth of data with precision and insight, and including interviews with pioneering women such as Baroness Hale, Mary Beard and Bernadine Evaristo, this is a fresh feminist take on how to address and counteract systemic sexism in ways that benefit us all.

This book will make you angry, it will make you shake your head in disbelief. But it will also inspire you, as it contains the key to addressing these problems, mapping out the measures we can take, as individuals and society, both to counteract them and to see them for what they are - an irrational but tenacious product of our social conditioning.

  • Published: 2 July 2021
  • ISBN: 9780857527578
  • Imprint: Doubleday
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $38.00

About the author

Mary Ann Sieghart

Mary Ann Sieghart spent 20 years as a senior editor and columnist at The Times and won a large following for her columns on politics, economics, feminism, parenthood and life in general. She has presented many programmes on BBC Radio 4, such as Start the Week, Fallout, Profile, Analysis, One to One and a clutch of one-off documentaries. Most recently she presented Fallout, a series of Radio 4 programmes on the possible outcomes of the Coronavirus.

Praise for The Authority Gap

At last here is a credible roadmap that is capable of taking women from the margins to the centre by bridging the authority gap that holds back even the best and most talented of women. Read this and weep at what we are wasting. Read this and believe we can fly on two wings and soon.

</i>Mary McAleese, Former President of Ireland

You have to read this book. Honestly, you really do. Because if you don't, you won't know what life is really like. Whether you are a man or a woman, you are going to see your life as a parent, a partner, a colleague quite differently.

</i>Daniel Finkelstein

Deeply researched, profoundly thoughtful and a book very much for the here and now: Mary Ann Sieghart's The Authority Gap is the book she was probably born to write. It is both a warning tract for bombastic, dismissive men, and a cheerful manual for all ambitious women.

</i>Andrew Marr

This is an essential account of structural sexism and the price it exacts - but it is so much more. In her extensive research and command of the evidence, Mary Ann Sieghart delivers nothing less than a modern map of the way we live, think and interact - and how we can do so much better. A must-read by one of the most important public intellectuals at work today.

</i>Matthew d'Ancona, Editor and Partner, Tortoise Media

Here is a brilliant manifesto explaining why women are still so underestimated and overlooked in today's world, but how we can also be hopeful for change.

</i>Philippa Perry

Hugely exciting.

</i>Emily Maitlis

All men stand to benefit from this book, by becoming more self-aware. But it is also a great guide to how to work and live together more productively, by understanding our fellow human-beings better, be they female or male, colleagues, friends or family.

</i>Bill Emmott

In The Authority Gap, Mary Ann Sieghart combines an absorbing review of the contemporary evidence on the systematic undervaluing of women with some powerful new insights. Whether you know a little or a lot about sexism and misogyny, there is much to learn from this book, including some very practical tips on creating change that you can implement the minute after you turn the last page.

</i>Julia Gillard, Former Prime Minister of Australia

Persuasive, arresting, punchy and incisive.

The Sunday Times

Fascinating, powerful...the subject is very close to my heart.

</i>Elif Shafak

An impassioned, meticulously argued and optimistic call to arms for anyone who cares about creating a fairer society.


Just in case anyone still thinks the patriarchy is a figment of feminist imagination, this book will prove otherwise. Everyone needs to read The Authority Gap because in order to change our culture, we need to fully recognise the problem.

</i>Bernadine Evaristo

Well-written, illuminating... has some excellent statistics and arguments to understand better the gap that harms even very successful women.


Fascinating, thorough, empowering... One of those books that takes something ubiquitous, that many have become desensitised to, and slowly exposes its far-reaching implications.


Passionate...gives plenty of evidence that the issue still matters.

Daily Mail

Sieghart demonstrates through meticulous use of the research data that these manly sins are disproportionately likely to be directed by men against women, and that their cumulative effect can sometimes be enormous.

The Times

Captivating account of how sexism is still rife in the corridors of power. Sieghart writes with empathy, clarity and passion. The book is enormously authoritative, knitting together academic studies with interviews of leading public figures.

Irish Independent

Really thought-provoking and challenging. Every man should read it, and then become consciously more deferential to women who know more than you.

</i>Johann Hari

Crackling with controlled anger, it features some eye-popping stories and a stellar cast of interviewees, from presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and former Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt to the novelist Bernardine Evaristo. Buy it for any woman ever talked over in a meeting, or patronised by a man who knows less than them.

Gaby Hinsliff, Guardian Best Political Books of 2021

Eye opening and gloriously galvanising ... Impassioned, meticulously argued and optimistic


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