A View of the Cove and Part of Sydney' - Underneath is written in black ink "Drawn by a Convict". One of six watercolours attributed to be by Joseph Lycett. (Gardner Galleries)

A View of the Cove and Part of Sydney’ – Underneath is written in black ink “Drawn by a Convict”. (Gardner Galleries)

Research by UNSW’s Pauline Grosjean and Rose Khatter posits that the glass ceiling in Australia can be attributed to its’ colonial past. According to the authors, the lack of women in the early days of colonial settlement has had a continuing effect on gender earnings.

Basically, Grosjean and Khatter argue that in the settlements where men outnumbered women (6:1), women had more bargaining power in the marriage market and consequently selected wealthier partners and worked less.  Due to ‘vertical cultural transmission and of homogamy in the marriage market in sustaining cultural persistence'(love that phrase!) regions where there were profound gender imbalances at settlement,  today tend to be more conservative and women are less likely to work in a professional capacity.

Interesting hypothesis that we would like to see the counter argument to (after the historical research is shredded apart).