Article: a PhD thesis.
Women in leadership: Three essays
Université de Lausanne, Faculté des hautes études commerciales
Number of pages
GENDER EMPOWERMENT: EFFECTS OF GODS, GEOGRAPHY, AND GDP¦Fenley, M., & Antonakis, J.¦ABSTRACT¦We examined the determinants of women's empowerment in the economy and political leadership in 178 countries. Given the androcentric nature of most religions, we hypothesized that high degrees of country-level theistic belief create social conditions that impede the progression of women to power. The dependent variable was the Gender Empowerment index of the United Nations Development Program, which captures the participation of women in political leadership, management, and their share of national income. Controlling for GDP per capita as well as the fixed-effects of the dominant type of religion and legal origin and instrumenting all endogenous variables with geographic or historical variables, our results show that atheism has a significant positive effect on gender empowerment. These results are driven by the rule of law, which in addition to being a catalyst for economic development, appears to crowd-out the informal regulation of behavior due to religious norms.¦DEVELOPING WOMEN LEADERS: COMPARING A TRANSFORMATIONAL AND A CHARISMATIC LEADERSHIP INTERVENTION¦Fenley, M., Jacquart, P., & Antonakis, J.¦ABSTRACT¦Along with a gender imbalance in leadership role occupancy, most leadership interventions have been conducted with samples of men. We conducted an experiment wherein we assigned female participants (n = 38, mean age = 35 years) to one of two conditions: Transformational (i.e., "standard") leadership training or charismatic leadership training. The two interventions were essentially equivalent, except that we also focused on developing the "charismatic leadership tactics" (e.g., rhetorical skills) of participants in the charismatic condition. After the interventions, we randomly assigned participants into problem-solving teams that required extensive interaction. Each team had an equal number of participants having received transformational training or charismatic training. At the end of the team exercises, participants rated each of their team members on a leadership prototypicality measure. Results indicated that those who received charismatic training scored higher (a) on prototypicality (standardized = .42) and (b) on a test of declarative knowledge of charismatic rhetorical strategies (i.e., a manipulation check, standardized = .76). Furthermore, the score on the test fully mediated the effect of the treatment on prototypicality (standardized indirect = .32). We discuss the importance and practical implications of these results.¦CHANGING ATTITUDES TOWARDS WOMEN IN A MALE SEX-TYPE WORK ENVIRONMENT: EVIDENCE FROM A FIELD EXPERIMENT IN EUROPEAN ATHLETICS¦Fenley, M.¦ABSTRACT¦Most sports organizations have a similar gender gap in leadership as do the majority of non-sport organizations. Women's careers sputter somewhere at coaching level positions and few women obtain top leadership positions. Greater awareness of gender inequalities in general, and in leadership in particular, could decrease gender discrimination and increase women's presence at upper levels. The goal of this study was to evaluate the impact of an intervention using an online gender awareness exercise. Participants (n = 1,001 participants, n = 32 countries) were randomly assigned to one of eight conditions in a 2 (a discriminating perspective-taking story or a non-discriminating perspective-taking story) by 2 (gender quiz or no gender quiz) by 2 (diversity quiz or no diversity quiz) factorial design. The results show that the online perspective taking exercise changed initial sexist attitudes. Participants having taken a diversity quiz had less sexist attitudes (as measured by the Modern- and Old-fashioned sexism scale) than did participants who did not take the diversity quiz (irrespective of perspective-taking story). The combination of having taken a diversity quiz with a gender quiz had the biggest impact on attitudes for the non-discriminating story.
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