A Closer Look Beneath the Surface: Various Facets of the Think-Manager–Think-Male Stereotype

Abstract

Previous research has indicated that successful managers are perceived as possessing characteristics that belong to a global masculine stereotype. This study was designed to compare the gender-stereotypical perception of leadership by investigating global and leadership-specific gender stereotypes and contrasting self-perception and the perceptionby others. Descriptive and prescriptive norms were analyzed and abilities studied in a leadership context. The sample consists of 215 management students, and the results indicate an impact of gender stereotypes on the perception of leadership by women and men. Ratings of the importance of leadership characteristics yielded a less gender-stereotypic view, especially by female participants. In their self-evaluations women and men did not differ in the degree in which they possess person- and task-oriented skills. They also did not differ in their ratings of the importance of possessing these skills themselves. Finally, women reported that they possess task-oriented abilities more seldom than such abilities were attributed to leaders-in-general.

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Correspondence to Sabine Sczesny.

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Sczesny, S. A Closer Look Beneath the Surface: Various Facets of the Think-Manager–Think-Male Stereotype. Sex Roles 49, 353–363 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1025112204526

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  • gender stereotypes
  • leadership
  • career