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Gender, gender identity, and aspirations to top management

Gary N. Powell (Gary N. Powell is Ackerman Scholar and Professor of Management at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA.)
D. Anthony Butterfield (D. Anthony Butterfield is Professor of Management in the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA.)

Women in Management Review

ISSN: 0964-9425

Article publication date: 1 February 2003



Data gathered by the authors from undergraduate and part‐time graduate business students in 1976‐1977 suggested that men were more likely than women to aspire to top management and that, consistent with traditional stereotypes of males and managers, a gender identity consisting of high masculinity and low femininity was associated with aspirations to top management. As a result of gender‐related social changes, we expected the gender difference in aspirations to top management but not the importance of gender identity to have decreased over time. We collected data in 1999 from the same two populations to test these notions. In newly collected data, high masculinity (but not low femininity) was still associated with such aspirations, and men still aspired to top management positions more than women. However, the gender difference in aspirations to top management did not decrease over time.



Powell, G.N. and Butterfield, D.A. (2003), "Gender, gender identity, and aspirations to top management", Women in Management Review, Vol. 18 No. 1/2, pp. 88-96.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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