Sex Roles

, Volume 17, Issue 7, pp 401-408

First online:

Sex stereotypes and the leadership role

  • Arnie CannAffiliated withUniversity of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • , William D. SiegfriedJr.Affiliated withUniversity of North Carolina at Charlotte

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Previous research has indicated that stereotypically masculine behaviors characterize leadership and that stereotypically feminine traits are devalued. However, this research may be questioned on the basis that the sex stereotype measures employed were not appropriate for the managerial role and that the rating task was not clearly defined. The present study attempts to deal with these concerns by asking groups to rate two different managers: the one they would wish to work for or the one they would wish to have working for them. As hypothesized, those who described the supervisors who they wished to have working for them valued masculine traits significantly more than those who described the supervisor they would like to work for. In all cases, however, stereotypically sexneutral traits were most highly valued.