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Women and Leadership

Women and Leadership. The Perception Flip. Academics ignored the issue until the 70s: Many uninterested male researchers before Gradually women in leadership/academia Women inferior to men in leadership roles (1977) Women superior in leadership positions (1990, 2000). The Perception Flip.

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Women and Leadership

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  1. Women and Leadership

  2. The Perception Flip • Academics ignored the issue until the 70s: • Many uninterested male researchers before • Gradually women in leadership/academia • Women inferior to men in leadership roles (1977) • Women superior in leadership positions (1990, 2000)

  3. The Perception Flip • Popular culture/media question of the 70s: • “Can women lead?” • Questions today: • “What are the leadership style/effectiveness differences?” • “Why are women under-represented in elite leadership roles?”

  4. Gender and Leadership Styles • Meta-analysis (Eagly & Johnson, 1990) • Women and men lead similarly: • Interpersonal vs task orientations • Only difference: • Women use more participative style • Another meta-analysis (van Egen, 2001) • Same results

  5. Gender and Leadership Styles • All characteristics Meta-analysis (Eagly, Makhijani, & Klonsky, 1992) • Women devalued when: • In male dominated environments • Evaluators were men • Females rated poorly: • Using directive or autocratic style (male stereotype) • Female and male leaders rated favorably when: • Using participative, democratic style (female stereotype)

  6. Gender and Effectiveness • Meta-analysis (Eagly et al, 1995) • Men and women equally effective • Gender differences: • Women and men more effective in “gender congruent” roles: • Women less effective when leader role was masculinized • Men more effective in military positions • Women more effective in education, government, social service • Women much more effective in middle management • Why?

  7. Transformational Leader Behaviors (Rafferty & Griffin, 2004) Transformational Leadership Behaviors • Personal • Recognition • Articulating a vision of the future • Inspirational communication • Intellectual • stimulation • Supportive • leadership

  8. Gender and Transformational Leadership • Meta-analysis (Eagly et al, 2003) • Women use more TL • Women use more contingent reward • Both predict more effectiveness

  9. Glass Ceiling into Labyrinth • Women: • Currently in more than half of all management and professional positions – 50.8% (Catalyst, 2009) • Make up about half of US workforce – 46.7% (USBLS, 2008) • Still underrepresented in upper elite corporate and political system • Earn nearly 60% of bachelor and master’s degrees (US Census, 2007)

  10. Glass Labyrinth • Women: • Only 16% of highest titles in Fortune 500 • 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs • Just 15% of Fortune 500 board seats

  11. Glass Labyrinth • Women in Politics: • 96 of 535 congressional seats – 18% (2013) • 20 senate seats of 100 – 20% (2013) • Average of women representation in national legislature or parliaments – 18% • US was 71st out of 188 countries (2009)

  12. The Leadership Gap • Invisible barrier preventing women to ascend to elite positions • Glass ceiling

  13. Removing barriers • Gap is Global • Women disproportionately in lower level leadership positions • Ethnic and racial minorities too • Motivations to change: • Promise of equal opportunity • Gender diversity associations: • Better group productivity  Financial performance • Women in charge associated with financial success (Catalyst, 2004)

  14. Explaining the gap • Three explanations:

  15. Human Capital differences • Pipeline theory • Women not in managerial positions long enough for natural progression. • not supported by research (Heilman, 1997) • Women are in the pipe, “but it’s leaking”

  16. Human Capital differences • Division of labor • Leads women to self select out of leadership into the: • “Mommy track”, not funneling to leadership • Not supported by research (Eagly & Carli, 2004)

  17. Human Capital differences • Women (Catalyst, 2009): • Occupy more than half of management and professional positions • Have fewer development opportunities • Fewer responsibilities in same jobs as men • Less likely to (LMX?): • Receive encouragement • Be included in key networks • Receive formal job training • More likely to: • Find barriers establishing informal mentorships

  18. Gender differences • Women (Bowles & McGinn, 2005): • Show same commitment and identification with roles as men • Are less likely to promote themselves for leadership positions (why?) • Less likely to emerge as group leaders • More likely to be social facilitators

  19. Gender differences • Women: • Face significant social costs/backlash when self-promoting: • Seen as less socially attractive, less hirable (Rudman, 1998) • Women choose not to promote: • Internalize these expectations/aware of social costs (Powell & Graves, 2003)

  20. Gender Differences • Women: • Are less likely to ask for what they want (Babcock & Laschever, 2003) • Are less likely to negotiate (Small, Gelfand, Babcock, & Gettman, 2007) • Negotiation often ambiguous • Unstructured (what do you get?)

  21. Prejudice • Stereotyped expectations: “Women take care and men take charge”

  22. Prejudice • Survey of women executives of Fortune 1000 on reason for gap (Catalyst, 2003)- • 33% cited: • Stereotyping • Conceptions of women’s roles and abilities as major contributor

  23. Gender Stereotypes • Pervasive, well documented, highly change resistant (Dodge, Gilroy & Fenzel, 1995) • Men stereotyped with agency: • Confidence, assertiveness, independence, rationality, & decisiveness • Women stereotyped with communal values: • Concern for others, sensitivity, warmth, helpfulness, & nurturance (Heilman, 2001)

  24. Stereotypes explaining findings • Penalties for going against the grain • Ann Hopkins - PWC partner 1991 • Too masculine, go to charm school, wear makeup • Stereotypes easily activated • Symphonies and screens • Cross-pressures: • “Be tough, but not so tough that you’re manly”

  25. Gender bias in the trait model • Leaders are tall, muscular, athletic, aggressive, assertive, etc. • Fortune 500: 90%+ CEOs are male • Watson & Hoffman (2004) – Women urged to have their teams adopt high quality decisions succeeded with the same frequency as men, though were rated more poorly as leaders. • We still think of a powerful man as a born leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly. - Margaret Atwood

  26. How stereotypes affect women • Homosocial reproduction (1977) • People prefer similar others • Report positive evaluations and decisions to replace themselves with like others

  27. Navigating the Labyrinth • Rising female leaders and effectiveness: • Organizational culture is changing (Catalyst, 2006) • Since 1995, number of fortune 500 with zero female directors falls 50% • Those with 25% or more have sextupled • Gender work assumptions are being challenged • Political, pop-cultural – Shark Tank • More women owned businesses (2001, 40%!) • Household work parity • Organizations valuing flexible work and diversity • Except Yahoo!

  28. Strengths • More androgynous conception of leadership gives people opportunities • Research helps dispel myths of gender gap • Understanding glass ceiling problem helps create solutions • Research addresses big picture social systems

  29. Weaknesses • Need to better understand impact of race/ethnicity on leadership processes • Western lens of gender issues needs to include other global perspectives • More research needed on closing gender gaps at home

  30. Application Questions: • How can women more easily reach top positions? • What are best ways to overcome biased expectations? • What “negotiation” techniques would be most helpful for advancement? • “Asking situations” • What types of organizational culture change would be most helpful? • How to increase mentoring opportunities for women?

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