A major barrier to women's progress in management worldwide continues to be the gender stereotyping of the managerial position. The purpose of the paper is to examine how this “think manager – think male” attitude has changed over the three decades since the author's initial research and to consider the implications of the outcomes for women's advancement in management today.
The paper reviews the author's research, first conducted in the 1970s and replicated in the USA and internationally, on gender stereotyping and requisite management characteristics.
The overview reveals the strength and inflexibility of the “think manager – think male” attitude held by males across time and national borders. Over the last three decades corporate males in the USA continue to see women as less qualified than men for managerial positions. Internationally, the view of women as less likely than men to possess requisite management characteristics is also a commonly held belief among male management students in the USA, the UK, Germany, China and Japan.
Women's continued progress depends on recognizing the intractable nature of these negative attitudes and continually seeking ways to ensure that these attitudes do not derail their success. The need to maintain and expand legal efforts is discussed. An argument is also made for challenging the “corporate convenient” way of working and restructuring managerial work to facilitate a work and family interface.
Based upon three decades of research, the paper highlights the importance of maintaining and increasing efforts to ensure that women advance to positions of power and influence in organizations worldwide.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited