This study aims to examine factors that may explain the status of women in management by exploring the linkages between leader anti-prototypes and prototypes to gender stereotypes.
Samples from two populations described either a “bad manager” (representing leader anti-prototypes) or a “good manager” (representing leader prototypes) on two instruments that assessed masculinity and femininity.
On each instrument, masculinity was endorsed more than femininity in both leader prototypes and anti-prototypes. Both masculinity and femininity were endorsed more in leader prototypes than leader anti-prototypes but only when the purpose of the instrument was disguised rather than transparent.
Limitations of a single data collection method, the nature of the samples and a newly designed scale for purposes of the study are acknowledged. Further attention to the linkages of leader anti-prototypes and prototypes to gender stereotypes and the outcomes of these linkages is recommended.
Individuals who make managerial selection and promotion decisions may devote more attention to the presence or absence of masculine traits in candidates than to the presence or absence of feminine traits, thereby leading to female candidates being passed over and male candidates receiving greater scrutiny in determining who gets ahead.
The study suggests cognitive mechanisms that may influence the status of women in management.
The study incorporates leader anti-prototypes and leader prototypes to explain the low status of women in management.
The senior author acknowledges support for this research from a grant by the Patricia and Timothy Friar Endowment. An earlier version of the manuscript was presented at the 2014 British Academy of Management Meeting in Belfast.
Powell, G.N. and Butterfield, D.A. (2017), "Linking leader anti-prototypes and prototypes to gender stereotypes", Gender in Management, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 128-140. https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-06-2016-0130Download as .RIS
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