Which part of the second part of my post are you saying is untrue as I cover a number of points? That the gender gap is an artificial construct? Or my statement that there are fewer hangups about women training to be scientists and engineers in the East? Or that it might be more difficult for women in the East to rise to senior positions?
All of the above statements are based on my experiences growing up in Malaysia (till after A-levels) followed by living in the UK for the past 20 years studying and working in science and engineering. Perhaps you might have a more valid viewpoint, but this is certainly a personal one, not as an observer looking in. Maybe I've lived an oddly skewed life.
@lovelydivot I don't see why the dynamic between a man and a woman has to be different from when it's between two men or two women, especially in a professional setting whether it's in music, science, banking, computing or whatever. I certainly don't treat women differently from men when I'm at work or at play (apart perhaps from occasionally helping them lift things). As an observer, however, I do notice that both men AND women have a tendency to play towards the stereotypes they have grown up with. In women it seems generally to manifest as a tendency towards meekness/reticence/lack of confidence (especially in a male-dominated environment) whereas in men it's more often a denigrating (even if jokily) attitude towards women that's fairly crass or even downright insulting. I have been lucky enough to mostly have worked with women who've bucked the trend.