, Volume 55, Issue 1-2, pp 51-61

Prejudice against Women in Male-congenial Environments: Perceptions of Gender Role Congruity in Leadership

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Abstract

Some authors assert that there is a feminine advantage in leadership, even though female leaders are often targets of prejudice. Our experiment tested how people’s expectations affect this prejudice in different work environments. Participants evaluated a male or a female candidate for a leadership position in an industry that was congruent or incongruent with the candidate’s gender role. Participants showed prejudice against the female candidate, especially when she worked in an industry incongruent with her gender role. Female and older participants showed more prejudice against the female leader than did male and younger participants. These results invoke role congruity theory (Eagly & Karau, Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders. Psychological Review, 109, 573–598, 2002).