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The effects of stereotypes of women's performance in male-dominated hierarchies: Stereotype threat activation and reduction through role models
Title of the book
Gender and social hierarchies: Perspectives from social psychology
London, UK: Routledge
Faniko K., Lorenzi-Cioldi F., Sarrasin O., Mayor E.
Despite recent progress in increasing gender equality in organizations, workplace hierarchies remain male-dominated in most domains. We discuss how gender stereotypes contribute to holding women back in leadership and workplace domains and how we can reduce the negative effects of gender stereotypes. In the first part of the chapter we discuss how awareness of negative stereotypes of women in leadership can decrease women's performance and self-related cognitions in leadership tasks such as motivating employees, managerial decision-making, and negotiating. In the second part of the chapter we discuss effective strategies to reduce the negative effects of stereotypes. We particularly focus on the strategy of exposing women to counterstereotypic exemplars - women who succeeded, thus disproving the stereotype. Given that exposures to successful women can have both threatening and inspiring effects, we propose a model which discusses the conditions under which successful female role models would inspire women with leadership aspirations.
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