Sex Roles

, Volume 9, Issue 10, pp 1035–1049 | Cite as

Are women invisible as leaders?

  • Natalie Porter
  • Florence Lindauer Geis
  • Joyce Jennings (Walstedt)


This study shows that women are unlikely to be seen as leaders. Subjects (n=448) rated each member of a five-person group (shown in a photograph) on leadership attributes and also chose one of the five as “contributing most to the group.” Eight different stimulus slides were used. In two slides the “head-of-the-table” cue to group leadership was pitted against sex-role stereotypes. A man seated at the head of the table in a mixed-sex group was clearly seen as leader of his group, but a woman occupying the same position was ignored. The head-of-the-table cue identified women as leaders only in all-female stimulus groups. The data were consistent with the hypotheses that sex stereotypes still control social judgments, and that discrimination operates nonconsciously and in spite of good intentions.


Social Psychology Group Leadership Good Intention Social Judgment Stimulus Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalie Porter
    • 1
  • Florence Lindauer Geis
    • 1
  • Joyce Jennings (Walstedt)
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Psychology, Burnett HallUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincoln

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