Sex Roles

, Volume 51, Issue 9, pp 609–615

Reinforcing the Glass Ceiling: The Consequences of Hostile Sexism for Female Managerial Candidates

  • Barbara M. Masser
  • Dominic Abrams

DOI: 10.1007/s11199-004-5470-8

Cite this article as:
Masser, B.M. & Abrams, D. Sex Roles (2004) 51: 609. doi:10.1007/s11199-004-5470-8


Previous research has established that benevolent sexism is related to the negative evaluation of women who violate specific norms for behavior. Research has yet to document the causal impact of hostile sexism on evaluations of individual targets. Correlational evidence and ambivalent sexism theory led us to predict that hostile sexism would be associated with negative evaluations of a female candidate for a masculine-typed occupational role. Participants completed the ASI (P. Glick & S. T. Fiske, 1996) and evaluated a curriculum vitae from either a male or female candidate. Higher hostile sexism was significantly associated with more negative evaluations of the female candidate and with lower recommendations that she be employed as a manager. Conversely, higher hostile sexism was significantly associated with higher recommendations that a male candidate should be employed as a manager. Benevolent sexism was unrelated to evaluations and recommendations in this context. The findings support the hypothesis that hostile, but not benevolent, sexism results in negativity toward individual women who pose a threat to men's status in the workplace.

hostile sexismglass ceilingdiscrimination

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara M. Masser
    • 1
  • Dominic Abrams
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of QueenslandAustralia
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of KentCanterbury, KentUnited Kingdom