Article

Reducing women’s lack of fit with leadership positions? Effects of the wording of job advertisements

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Abstract

Linguistic forms which refer to individuals impact mental representations of these individuals: When masculine generics are used, women tend to be cognitively underrepresented, whereas feminine–masculine word pairs are associated with a higher cognitive inclusion of women. The present research investigates whether linguistic forms affect women’s perceived lack of fit with leadership positions, which is particularly pronounced for high-status leadership positions. In a hiring-simulation experiment (N = 363), we tested the effects of different linguistic forms used in German-language job advertisements: (1) masculine forms (e.g., Geschäftsführer, ‘CEO, masc.’); (2) masculine forms with (m/f) (e.g., Geschäftsführer (m/w), ‘CEO, masc. (m/f)’); and (3) word pairs (e.g., Geschäftsführerin/Geschäftsführer, ‘CEO, fem./CEO, masc.’). The job ads announced either a high- or low-status leadership position. Results showed that female applicants were perceived to fit less well with the high-status position than male applicants when either the masculine or the masculine form with (m/f) was used––even though they were perceived to be equally competent. However, female and male applicants were perceived as fitting the high-status leadership position similarly well when word pairs were used.

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... Auch wenn Wortwahl und Formulierung in einer Stellenausschreibung variiert werden, zeigen sich Geschlechterunterschiede dergestalt, dass vor allem Frauen auf diese reagieren. So fühlen sich Frauen sowohl von solchen Stellenausschreibungen eher angesprochen, die stereotyp weibliche Eigenschaften (Born und Taris 2010;Taris und Bok 1998) oder Wörter enthalten, welche üblicherweise mit Frauen assoziiert werden (Gaucher et al. 2011), als auch von Angeboten, bei welchen sie direkt mit der weiblichen Form angesprochen werden (Bem und Bem 1973;Horvath und Sczesny 2016;Stout und Dasgupta 2011). ...
... Nehmen Frauen eine geringe Passung mit männertypischen Positionen wahr, kann dies sowohl eine geringere Identifikation mit der Position als auch die Erwägung eines Positionswechsels zur Folge haben (Peters et al. 2012). Wie "männertypisch" eine Position erscheint, wird unter anderem von der Formulierung der Stellenausschreibung (Bem und Bem 1973;Gaucher et al. 2011;Horvath und Sczesny 2016;Stout und Dasgupta 2011), den Eigenschaften im Anforderungsprofil (Born und Taris 2010;Taris und Bok 1998) sowie der Diskrepanz zu typischen weiblichen Rollenerwartungen (Eagly und Wood 1991) beeinflusst. ...
... Diese Ergebnisse finden sich auch im Arbeitsmarktkontext wieder. Beispielsweise halten die Teilnehmenden einer experimentellen Studie Frauen trotz gleicher Qualifikation lediglich dann für ebenso geeignet für eine hohe Führungsposition wie Männer, wenn diese Position mit männlichem und weiblichem Titel beschrieben wird (Horvath und Sczesny 2016). In Stellenausschreibungen beeinflusst die Ansprache von Frauen mit maskulinem Personalpronomen (Stout und Dasgupta 2011) oder männlicher Positionsbezeichnung (Bem und Bem 1973) deren Bewerbungsinteresse negativ. ...
Article
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Zusammenfassung Berufliche Geschlechtersegregation produziert und reproduziert soziale Ungleichheit zwischen den Geschlechtern. Vor diesem Hintergrund steht in diesem Artikel die Wahrnehmung von Stellenausschreibungen im Fokus. Wenn Frauen einzelne Merkmale einer Stellenausschreibung für mehr oder weniger attraktiv halten, kann dies zur beruflichen Geschlechtersegregation beitragen. Wir fragen, wie sowohl die sprachliche Gestaltung einer Stellenausschreibung als auch die im Rahmen einer Stellenausschreibung genannten Merkmale einer Arbeitsstelle die Attraktivitätseinschätzung dieser Stelle für Frauen beeinflussen. Im Rahmen eines faktoriellen Surveys werden 224 weiblichen Erwerbstätigen im Alter von 25–40 Jahren hypothetische Stellenausschreibungen vorgelegt, welche sich hinsichtlich verschiedener Dimensionen unterscheiden und auf ihre Attraktivität hin eingeschätzt werden sollen. Die kausalen Effekte der Vignettendimensionen werden in einem Mehrebenenmodell geschätzt und zeigen, dass flexible Arbeitszeiten die bedeutsamste Größe sind. Des Weiteren üben stereotyp weibliche Formulierungen und gendersensible Positionsbezeichnungen im Vergleich zu rein maskuliner Ansprache einen positiven Einfluss auf die Bewertung einer Stellenausschreibung aus. Zudem sind weibliche Rollenvorbilder relevant.
... Lawler (1996), Grün (2004) Hossain and Kusakabe (2005) and Anand (2013) examine employment statements in Thailand, Singapore, Africa and India to come up with similar inferences. Similarly, the genderdifferentiated wording of job advertisements is considered both present and significant in some European countries such as England (Stidder, 2005;Regmi, 2009), Denmark (Askehave & Zethsen, 2014) and Germany (Horvath & Sczesny, 2015). In a similar fashion, in the United States of America and Canada gendered wording is used in job recruitment materials (Gaucher et al., 2011). ...
... A consequence of this is the vertical segregation of women in the lower managerial positions, while men occupy the decision centres. One of the reasons this happens, which is related to the wording of job advertisements, is the fact that masculine wording of advertisements for middle and top management positions can make women think they are less fit for the job posted (Bosak & Sczesny, 2008;Horvath & Sczesny, 2015). This phenomenon is already apparent in some sectors of Iraq. ...
... But we rarely can find job advertisements for the government sector. This practice, as (Bosak & Sczesny, 2008;Zieleńska, 2012;Horvath & Sczesny, 2015) explain, is due to the misbelief that men are more fit for leadership positions; despite lack of scientific evidence supporting this claim. Table 2 show that only administrative job advertisements seek female applicants, while every other segment commits discrimination against them. ...
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This research studies the nature and the scope of gender discrimination in job advertisements across Iraq’s various business sectors, segments, and hierarchical levels. It also attempts to understand the correlation between the language of the vacancy announcements and the level of the gender discriminatory content in them. This study is conducted with the hope of contributing to gender equality at the workplace in Iraq and the wider region. The current study adopts a content coding and analysis method that depends on the analysis of job advertisements (n=1015) by organizations operating in Iraq published in the leading recruitment websites and social media pages for a period of about four consecutive months from June to October 2017. The analysis is conducted using descriptive statistics and tested using simple cross tabulation method. Although the topic has been studied in various countries and contexts, it lacks academic attention in the Middle East, which can be seen as a unique area for research. Also, this research is the first attempt, as far as we are aware of, to comprehend the correlation between the choice of language (English, Arabic or Kurdish) and gender-biased wording of vacancy announcements. Understanding the relationship between language and gender discrimination in job advertisements might as well unveil a new area of study and aid in the quest for gender equality in the Iraqi workplace. This paper provides scientific evidence that more than 41% of all job advertisements in Iraq commit gender discrimination. The majority of them indirectly favor male candidates. Additionally, the nature of the vacancies for which women are preferred is different from the ones that target men. The adverts generally try to segregate women into non-managerial and administrative jobs. The study also infers a statistically significant correlation between the language of the advertisement and gender discrimination rate.
... Lawler (1996), Grün (2004) Hossain and Kusakabe (2005) and Anand (2013) examine employment statements in Thailand, Singapore, Africa and India to come up with similar inferences. Similarly, the genderdifferentiated wording of job advertisements is considered both present and significant in some European countries such as England (Stidder, 2005;Regmi, 2009), Denmark (Askehave & Zethsen, 2014) and Germany (Horvath & Sczesny, 2015). In a similar fashion, in the United States of America and Canada gendered wording is used in job recruitment materials (Gaucher et al., 2011). ...
... A consequence of this is the vertical segregation of women in the lower managerial positions, while men occupy the decision centres. One of the reasons this happens, which is related to the wording of job advertisements, is the fact that masculine wording of advertisements for middle and top management positions can make women think they are less fit for the job posted (Bosak & Sczesny, 2008;Horvath & Sczesny, 2015). This phenomenon is already apparent in some sectors of Iraq. ...
... But we rarely can find job advertisements for the government sector. This practice, as (Bosak & Sczesny, 2008;Zieleńska, 2012;Horvath & Sczesny, 2015) explain, is due to the misbelief that men are more fit for leadership positions; despite lack of scientific evidence supporting this claim. Table 2 show that only administrative job advertisements seek female applicants, while every other segment commits discrimination against them. ...
Article
Full-text available
This research studies the nature and the scope of gender discrimination in job advertisements across Iraq’s various business sectors, segments, and hierarchical levels. It also attempts to understand the correlation between the language of the vacancy announcements and the level of the gender discriminatory content in them. This study is conducted with the hope of contributing to gender equality at the workplace in Iraq and the wider region. The current study adopts a content coding and analysis method that depends on the analysis of job advertisements (n=1015) by organizations operating in Iraq published in the leading recruitment websites and social media pages for a period of about four consecutive months from June to October 2017. The analysis is conducted using descriptive statistics and tested using simple cross tabulation method. Although the topic has been studied in various countries and contexts, it lacks academic attention in the Middle East, which can be seen as a unique area for research. Also, this research is the first attempt, as far as we are aware of, to comprehend the correlation between the choice of language (English, Arabic or Kurdish) and gender-biased wording of vacancy announcements. Understanding the relationship between language and gender discrimination in job advertisements might as well unveil a new area of study and aid in the quest for gender equality in the Iraqi workplace. This paper provides scientific evidence that more than 41% of all job advertisements in Iraq commit gender discrimination. The majority of them indirectly favor male candidates. Additionally, the nature of the vacancies for which women are preferred is different from the ones that target men. The adverts generally try to segregate women into non-managerial and administrative jobs. The study also infers a statistically significant correlation between the language of the advertisement and gender discrimination rate
... Women also felt that their chances of obtaining the job were greater when job advertisements were presented in a split-form as opposed to the 'neutral' generic masculine form (Merkel, 2013: 35). Horvath and Sczesny (2016) established that gender forms impact people's self-assessment of their suitability for particular work, especially in terms of management positions 7 , yet not for positions with a lower status. Their research shows that female candidates assessed themselves as being comparatively less suitable candidates when applying to positions of high status when the job advertisement was exclusively presented in the masculine form. ...
... Female candidates were shown to be perceived as less suitable for high-status positions than male candidates when the masculine job title was used, even if they were assessed as equally competent. On the other hand, male and female candidates were evaluated as similarly suitable for high-status positions when forms representing both genders were used (Horvath and Sczesny, 2016). Research by McConnell and Fazio (1996) showed that job titles with masculine suffixes -man (e.g. ...
... According to the presented (psycholinguistic and other) findings of several authors (Stout and Dasgupta, 2011;Merkel, 2013;Horvath and Sczesny, 2016), neutral grammatical forms are the only ones to successfully promote gender equality in the conceptual interpretation of job advertisements. Further, our analysis shows considerable discrepancies between these forms as well (among 'expressly' and 'formally' neutral forms specifically, and likewise within the 'expressly neutral forms' themselves). ...
Article
The present article explores the use of grammatical forms in job advertisements published over the past 60 years (1958, 1978, 1998 and 2018). A historical examination of the use of gender forms in employment is based on analysis of job advertisements published in the Slovenian language, and the particular socioeconomic context. The results show that the frequency of use of the masculine, feminine and neutral forms has not drastically altered over the decades. In general, feminine and neutral forms were used less frequently, and the masculine grammatical form consistently dominates. In 2018, the latter was seemingly ‘neutralised’ by adding the abbreviation M/F
... However, using feminine titles in a language where a masculine generic form exists, leads to other social costs. Women's job applications were judged as less suitable for a high-status leadership position when the job was titled with a masculine form compared to when it was titled with a paired form (Horvath & Sczesny, 2015). Women described with feminine job titles (e.g., la presidentessa, 'the president', feminine) instead of equivalent masculine job titles (e.g., la presidente) were rated as less warm and competent, which led to a lower willingness to employ them (Budziszewska, Hansen, & Bilewicz, 2014). ...
... For example, German-speaking participants remembered more female public figures when paired forms were used (e.g., Studentinnen und Studenten; '[female and male] students', or StudentInnen) compared to when the neutral or masculine form was used . Furthermore, paired forms (e.g., Geschäftsführerin/Geschäftsführer, '[female/male] CEO') led to women being perceived as a better fit for a highstatus leadership position than when the masculine job title was used generically (Horvath & Sczesny, 2015). Another study found that paired forms in French led to the attenuation of the difference in ascription of success and warmth to women and men compared to masculine generic forms (Vervecken et al., 2015). ...
... To measure perceptions of applicants' agency, we asked the participants to assess how they would attribute five agentic traits and behaviors such as "ambitious" and "rational" (α = .69; Gaucher et al., 2011;Heilman, 2012;Hentschel et al., 2019) to the applicant, based on their first impression (Horvath & Sczesny, 2016). Perceptions of applicants' P-J fit were assessed with three items referring to a skills dimension and two items to a personality dimension of fit which we adapted from Lauver and Kristof-Brown (2001). ...
... Accordingly, our findings are in line with the argument that stereotype-based beliefs influence the salience of certain characteristics of jobs as well as organizations (e.g., based on Eagly & Karau, 2002;Heilman, 2012;Rice & Barth, 2016). While previous research on stereotypes in recruitment mainly focused on P-J fit or general indicators of belongingness (e.g., Bosak & Sczesny, 2008;Gaucher et al., 2011;Horvath & Sczesny, 2016), our research provides a more comprehensive understanding of effects on perceived fit and suggests that P-O fit may not be neglected. We encourage future research to consider different fit types and emphasize the relevance of P-J as well as P-O fit. ...
Article
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Evaluators’ fit assessments are not only influenced by applicants’ qualities, but also by stereotypes, especially in recruitment for high-status jobs in male-dominated fields. The unidimensional agentic stereotype of these work contexts signals agentic job and organizational requirements (stereotypically male qualities such as achievement orientation), although the actual requirements usually also include communality (stereotypically female qualities such as interpersonal skills). In a series of five experiments, we investigate the relevance of perceived applicant agency for perceived applicant fit, the influence of recruitment material, contextual differences, and the role of applicant gender. Our findings indicate that perceived applicant agency drives perceived person-job and person-organization fit in strictly male stereotyped work contexts, regardless of gender, and agentic recruitment material enhances this effect. Contrasting different contexts (high- with low-status jobs and a male-dominated with a gender-balanced and female-dominated field) revealed that the relevance of perceived agency increases with perceived job status, and the relevance of perceived communality decreases with the expected share of men. Although women were perceived as highly agentic in strictly male stereotyped work contexts, their need to be perceived as agentic also was higher than for men, due to the perceived lack of fit between women and high-status jobs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
... These ads may consequently deprive organizations of benefiting from female talent in higher positions (Askehave and Zethsen, 2014). Nevertheless, evidence shows that using gender-neutral language in ads is easy and not costly (Horvath and Sczesny, 2016). One of the simplest ways to motivate women to apply for higher-level jobs is to make them linguistically visible, such as by using word pairs (he/she) when using pronouns, because it reduces women's perception of a lack of fit with high-level jobs or leadership positions (Horvath and Sczesny, 2016). ...
... Nevertheless, evidence shows that using gender-neutral language in ads is easy and not costly (Horvath and Sczesny, 2016). One of the simplest ways to motivate women to apply for higher-level jobs is to make them linguistically visible, such as by using word pairs (he/she) when using pronouns, because it reduces women's perception of a lack of fit with high-level jobs or leadership positions (Horvath and Sczesny, 2016). ...
Article
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Purpose This article presents an exploratory, narrative review on job ads research. It aims to explore the key features of job ads that have been investigated in previous researches; the way these features have been investigated; and to draw important lessons that those studies teach us about the impact of job ad features on the target population. Design/methodology/approach In this study, the scoping-review procedure is applied. Its systematic procedure enables scholars to provide a broad overview of a topic, map the key concepts underpinning a research area, clarify the conceptual boundaries of a topic, and also to incorporate a numerical summary and qualitative thematic analysis. The review was conducted based on a systematic study of 243 peer-reviewed articles and publications in the grey literature. Findings The findings show that seven job ad features seem to have important impacts on (potential) applicants, which we illustrate as a know-how framework. Eight main theories are used, and a wide array of research methods are applied. However, the study concludes that after more than four decades of research, there is still a limited understanding about the concrete effects of job ad features. Originality/value This paper synthesizes the existing knowledge, answers three exploratory questions regarding job ad features and draws theoretical and practical lessons from previous studies. In the interest of conducting future studies and providing a research agenda, a typology of theoretical perspectives for the study of job ads is also presented. The article also presents lessons for practitioners by providing a know-how framework on the usage of job ads.
... The use of GFL has positive consequences for women's interest in non-traditionally feminine domains (Bem & Bem, 1973) and reduces gender bias in evaluations of men and women as candidates for leadership positions (Horvath & Sczesny, 2015;Stahlberg & Sczesny, 2001). Presenting professions in male and female forms has reduced the gender gap in the ascription of stereotypically male and female professions and increased self-efficacy amongst children (Vervecken et al., 2015). ...
... El uso del lenguaje inclusivo tiene consecuencias positivas para los intereses de las mujer en ámbitos tradicionalmente no femeninos (Bem & Bem, 1973) y reduce el sesgo de género en las evaluaciones de hombres y mujeres como candidatos para las posiciones de liderazgo (Horvath & Sczesny, 2015;Stahlberg & Sczesny, 2001). Presentar las profesiones mediante modelos femeninos y masculinos ha contribuido a reducir la brecha de género en la atribución de profesiones típicamente masculinas o femeninas y a aumentar la autoeficacia en la infancia (Vervecken et al., 2015). ...
Article
Sexist language can trigger feelings of ostracism and negatively influence women’s motivation and identification. In this research, we test this hypothesis in two domains (academic: Study 1 [N = 107 Spanish high schoolers]; work: Study 2 [N = 164 Spanish university students]. We examine the underlying process that leads women and men to feel ostracized and less motivated when sexist language is used. Results show that the use of sexist language has a negative impact on feelings of ostracism and motivation for both women and men. This can be explained by various motivational processes: intrapersonal (identification with the task or the job), interpersonal (feelings of belonging) and intergroup (perceived discrimination). We find no impact of participants’ gender on these effects, although girls show more negative attitudes than boys towards exclusive language. Moreover, the use of gender-fair language reduces negative emotions in participants reporting low levels of neosexism compared to when sexist language is used (Study 2). Overall, these results suggest that changing language practices might have positive motivational implications for both genders.
... The use of gender-unfair language, especially those in favour of men, restricts the visibility of women, which may be disadvantageous for them (Horvath and Sczesny, 2015). Also, gender unfair language makes women find jobs advertised in the masculine manner less appealing (Gaucher et al., 2011). ...
... Consequently, women reported a lower sense of belonging when gender-exclusive language was used compared to genderinclusive or gender-neutral forms, in fact, women reported feeling ostracized when gender-exclusive language was used (Stout and Dasgupta, 2011). Similarly, Horvath and Sczesny (2015) observed that when a masculine job title is used in job advertisements, it's an indication that men are perceived as fitting a high-status leadership position better than women but when the job is advertised with a gender neutral language, women and men are seen as equally qualified. The concept of gender neutral language (GNL) was introduced to create a healthy working environment and improve both verbal and written communications in the workplace. ...
Article
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Despite the wide spread awareness regarding the need to reduce gender bias in communication styles, it still exists in organizations and its negative effects on women’s behaviour and perceptions in the workplace remain a great concern. Consequently, the importance of gender neutral language (GNL) use in reducing gender stereotypes and discrimination cannot be overemphasized. Gender differences between gender and non-gender policy organizations has not been given much attention among university lecturers in the investigation of GNL use in Nigeria. This study examines the main and interaction effects of gender and institution type on GNL among public and private university lecturers. Using a two-way factorial design, 161 lecturers were randomly selected from four faculties and twelve departments while convenient sampling method was used to select the target respondents. A questionnaire focusing on socio-demographic profile and a GNL test was administered to the participants. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-test analysis and analysis of variance at 0.05 level of significance. Three hypotheses were tested. The results revealed that gender differences and institution type interacted to influence GNL use among the participants of the study. Gender and institution type are important in developing interventions for GNL use in academia. Article visualizations: </p
... The use of GFL has positive consequences for women's interest in non-traditionally feminine domains (Bem & Bem, 1973) and reduces gender bias in evaluations of men and women as candidates for leadership positions (Horvath & Sczesny, 2015;Stahlberg & Sczesny, 2001). Presenting professions in male and female forms has reduced the gender gap in the ascription of stereotypically male and female professions and increased self-efficacy amongst children (Vervecken et al., 2015). ...
... Although some researchers have found that men reject the use of non-sexist language more strongly than women (Douglas & Sutton, 2014;Parks & Roberton, 1998), other works have revealed no gender differences in attitudes toward the use of inclusive language (Sczesny et al., 2015). Similarly, in our studies, we found that young women and adolescents have more negative attitudes toward exclusive language than boys do. ...
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Sexist language can trigger feelings of ostracism and negatively influence women’s motivation and identification. In this research, we test this hypothesis in two domains (academic: Study 1 [N = 107 Spanish high schoolers]; work: Study 2 [N = 164 Spanish university students]. We examine the underlying process that leads women and men to feel ostracized and less motivated when sexist language is used. Results show that the use of sexist language has a negative impact on feelings of ostracism and motivation for both women and men. This can be explained by various motivational processes: intrapersonal (identification with the task or the job), interpersonal (feelings of belonging), and intergroup (perceived discrimination). We find no impact of participants’ gender on these effects, although girls show more negative attitudes than boys toward exclusive language. Moreover, the use of gender-fair language reduces negative emotions in participants reporting low levels of neosexism compared to when sexist language is used (Study 2). Overall, these results suggest that changing language practices might have positive motivational implications for both genders.
... ). Future research could also focus on the influence of advertisement wording and other characteristics on leader selection, evaluation, and explanatory processes(Hentschel, Braun, Peus, & Frey, 2018;Horvath & Sczesny, 2016;van Esch, Hopkins, O'Neil, & Bilimoria, 2018). Fourth, we employed the traditional binary gender system for this research, but we are aware that there are other genders that were not included(Morgenroth & Ryan, 2018). ...
Article
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Following calls for research to increase gender equality, we investigated women's intentions to pursue career opportunities, in the form of career development programs. We built on lack of fit and signaling theory to argue that women's but not men's pursuit of career opportunities would be influenced by recruiter gender and gender‐stereotypical wording in recruitment advertisements. We conducted two studies in Germany. In Study 1 (video‐based experiment with 329 university students), we found that when a male recruiter used stereotypically masculine compared to feminine wording, female students anticipated lower belongingness, expected lower success of an application, and indicated lower application intentions for career opportunities. These differences in female students’ evaluations disappeared when the recruiter was female. While Study 2 (experimental vignette study with 545 employees) replicates the negative effects of masculine wording for female employees; the buffering effect of female recruiters was only replicated for younger, but not for older female employees. Women's anticipated belongingness mediated the relationship between advertisement wording and application intentions when the recruiter was male. Recruiter gender and wording had no effects on men. Our work contributes to a better understanding of when and why contextual characteristics in the recruitment process influence women's pursuit of career opportunities.
... On aggregated levels, national languages also correspond with gender equality (Liu et al. 2018;Prewitt-Freilino, Caswell, and Laakso 2012;Santacreu-Vasut, Shenkar, and Shoham 2014), such that countries with official languages that display feminine or masculine gender are less gender equal; these language users are less supportive of gender equality and women's rights. Moreover, gender-fair language use motivates individuals to apply for certain jobs in which their gender is in minority (Bem and Bem 1973;Horvath and Sczesny 2016). ...
Article
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Gender-inclusive language, such as the Swedish pronoun hen, may aid in breaking a binary notion of gender and avoid sexism. The present study followed the implementation of a gender-inclusive third-person pronoun singular (hen) in Swedish in two surveys with representative samples in 2015 (at the time when hen was introduced in the official Swedish dictionary; N = 1212) and in 2018 (N = 2009). The surveys comprised measures of attitudes toward, and use of, hen as well as possible predictors such as area of residence, age, preferred pronoun, political orientation, and interest in gender issues. Results showed that attitudes toward hen became more positive and that use of hen increased between 2015 and 2018. About half of the population used hen in their communication in 2018, which is a 14-percentage-point increase from 2015. Younger age, she or hen as preferred pronoun, political left-wing orientation, and interest in gender issues predicted a more positive attitude and a more frequent use. Furthermore, the positive change between 2015 and 2018 was larger among younger people, indicating that hen will remain in the Swedish language. The present research is unique in that it follows a gender-fair language initiative during its implementation in representative samples, thereby providing insights for social movements aiming for gender-fair language. We also discuss the theoretical implications of a gender-inclusive pronoun in comparison with past studies on gender-fair language.
... These seemingly innocent words and phrases have been called unnecessarily gendered and pseudo-generic language that is harmful by excluding the visibility of women and non-traditional gender identity (Benson et al., 2013;Mucchi-Faina, 2005). These types of arguments are often criticized as politically correct overreactions (Lalonde et al., 2000;Mucchi-Faina, 2005), but research has shown that the use of masculine generic language negatively impacts women's self-esteem and capabilities, reduces their likelihood of applying for certain jobs (Mucchi-Faina, 2005), and impacts hiring, evaluation, and advancement (Horvath and Sczesny, 2016). Douglas and Sutton (2014: 669-670) suggest this this type of androcentric or neutrally/sexist language impacts our social system by reinforcing stereotypes and traditional power dynamics. ...
Article
Normative management behaviors have resulted in the patterns of today—a lack of equity in leadership positions and policies that are less favorable toward women. Meanwhile, public service values, such as respect, equity, diversity, and inclusiveness, are central foci among the professional standards and norms within the public administration field, its academic discipline and related curricula. Consequently, public administration educational programs are uniquely situated to espouse these values in their core curricula, as well as enact and reinforce them through inclusive pedagogical practices. This paper has two aims. First, to introduce the Diversity Inclusion Model, which provides a framework for examining diversity and inclusion in course design and syllabi to identify areas of improvement. Second, to apply the Diversity Inclusion Model to gender equity and inclusion to develop more gender-inclusive, acculturated learning experiences that reinforce gender equity in the classroom. This may subsequently inform the practice of public administration to re-shape professional norms and create better gender equity.
... The present research is not the first to investigate the ramifications of language in job descriptions. Many recent publications have focused on how word choice and other linguistic elements influence the likelihood of certain populations to understand what is said and, in the case of job descriptions, apply for a job (Born & Taris, 2010;Burroughs, 2017;Gaucher, Friesen, & Kay, 2011;Horvath & Sczesny, 2016;Samek, 2015). Most studies focus on gendered wording and how word choice sustains inequality in employment (possibly subconsciously) by suggesting that a position is more suited for one gender over another. ...
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Informed by an overview of job advertisement research published during the past two decades, the purpose of this study is to address disability and employment in library and information science by investigating job ads for academic library reference positions for their written language comprehension qualities. With concerns for rising unemployment rates of qualified, college educated individuals with disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and the need to increase diversity in the workforce, we conducted a multi-step content analysis of all academic library reference position advertisements (43) published by libraries in the 12 member states of a Midwestern United States regional library association. The theoretical lens for our study draws on the field of linguistics and particularly two important components of discourse, the reading of 1) words and sentences containing lexically ambiguous words and 2) fixed formulaic sequences. From the identified reference position job ads (148 pages, 16,724 words), 79 passages were coded as problematic in the announcement areas of 1) general position information (23), 2) duty and/or responsibility (34), and 3) qualifications (22). Passages were organized into 32 categorical examples of lexically ambiguous words and 15 examples of formulaic sequences that do not in our view have universal meaning and can lead to uncertainty and misunderstandings among potential applicants with and without intellectual disabilities. Examples of clear, accurate language to replace problematic language are presented. While this study focuses on job ads in the United States, it has international implications and relevance as ASD and related disabilities exist worldwide.
... Furthermore, we considered whether the gender of the target influenced the perceivers' ratings. Previous research has shown significant gender differences when considering the entrepreneurial stereotype generally considered a masculine occupation (e.g., Baron et al., 2001;Gupta et al., 2009); gendered job titles overcome stereotypical job role bias in balancing gender fit perceptions for hiring (Horvath and Sczesny, 2016); and work on stereotype content has shown differences between perceptions of men and women on warmth and competence (Fiske et al., 2002). In addition to a comparison of job titles, this study explored differences on warmth and competence between males and females holding the same job titles combining previous research inquiries. ...
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Recent research in entrepreneurship and stereotypes have considered how entrepreneurs are evaluated on various factors. Taking a social cognition approach, we examine entrepreneur stereotypes by identifying patterns in stereotype content dimensions for entrepreneurs and related job titles. The title of entrepreneur is complex incorporating both business and innovation components. Across three studies we compare warmth and competence dimensions of the title of entrepreneur with those of a business leader (CEO), inventor/innovator (scientist), and a role requiring both creativity and business skills (advertiser). We find that while entrepreneurs are consistently seen as less competent than either a CEO or scientist and more so than an advertiser, they tend to be seen as warmer than these professionals.
... For instance, gender-neutral job advertisements increase girls' and women's interest in stereotypically male occupations, women's perceptions of fit with leadership positions, and their perceived effectiveness as leaders (Eagly et al., 1995;Gaucher et al., 2011;Horvath & Sczesny, 2016;Vervecken et al., 2013). Similarly, emphasizing the importance of leadership traits typically associated with women without dismissing those associated with men (a process called "prototype inversion") can bring a more diverse or balanced prototype of leadership positions (Danbold & Bendersky, 2019). ...
Article
Women's lower career advancement relative to men is sometimes explained by internal factors such as women's lower willingness to make sacrifices for their career, and sometimes by external barriers such as discrimination. In the current research, positing a dynamic interplay between internal and external factors, we empirically test how external workplace barriers guide individuals' internal decisions to make sacrifices for the advancement of their careers. In two high-powered studies in traditionally male-dominated fields (surgery, N = 1,080; veterinary medicine, N = 1,385), women indicated less willingness than men to make sacrifices for their career. Results of structural equation modeling demonstrated that this difference was explained by women's more frequent experience of gender discrimination and lower perceptible fit with people higher up the professional ladder. These barriers predicted reduced expectations of success in their field (Study 1) and expected success of their sacrifices (Study 2), which in turn predicted lower willingness to make sacrifices. The results explain how external barriers play a role in internal career decision making. Importantly, our findings show that these decision-making processes are similar for men and women, yet, the circumstances under which these decisions are made are gendered. That is, both men and women weigh the odds in deciding whether to sacrifice for their career, but structural conditions may influence these perceived odds in a way that favors men. Overall, this advances our understanding of gender differences, workplace inequalities, and research on the role of “choice” and/or structural discrimination behind such inequalities.
... Replacing masculine generic terms with paired forms that include both a masculine and a feminine word is a common strategy to increase inclusion of women in the workplace, for instance replacing the generic pronoun 'he' with the paired form 'he/she' in job advertisements (Sczesny et al., 2016). Using paired pronouns can increase the motivation of women to apply for a job position, as well as decrease the influence of gender bias in recruiter evaluations (Horvath & Sczesny, 2015;Sczesny et al., 2016). Paired pronouns as well as non-binary pronouns (neo-pronouns or gender-neutral pronouns) have been shown to have the potential to linguistically represent both women and men (Lindqvist et al., 2018). ...
Conference Paper
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This Conference has been designed to bring together talent from academia and the broader public and private sectors (both for-profit and not-for-profit) to participate in respectful, professional, and rigorous debate about gender and sexuality at work. We aim to learn from each other and to find better ways to work together in building the knowledge base required to address gender and sexuality at work in meaningful and productive ways.
... Second, organizations can change the criteria that they apply for hiring and promoting leaders. In organizations with stereotypically masculine views of leadership, women are perceived to fit less with high-status positions as compared to men (Horvath & Sczesny, 2016). In contrast, when characteristics such as a low dysfunctional power motive and a high functional affiliation motive are assessed and prioritized for selection of leaders, we expect that those who make selection decisions will perceive women to be a much better fit with high-status positions. ...
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This study examines what factors give rise to gender differences in unethical behavior. More specifically, we hypothesize that men, on average, behave more unethically than women because men have (a) a higher dysfunctional power motive (i.e., a striving for resources and perceived superiority) as well as (b) a lower functional affiliation motive (i.e., a desire for sincere and considerate interactions with others). We test our hypotheses in a laboratory study (N = 201) and in a field survey (N = 960). Both studies focus on resource dilemmas a class of situations in which unethical acts deplete or spoil a shared and limited resource. In the laboratory, participants played a game of Settlers of Catan: Oil Springs in mixed-gender groups in which they could harm their group members through selfish behavior. In the field survey, respondents read descriptions of business scenarios which provided opportunities for personal benefits at the expense of society. Across both studies, we found that men, on average, behaved more unethically than women, with effect sizes ranging from d = 0.40 to 0.67. Motives mediated this relationship. More specifically, men’s tendency toward unethical behavior could be partially attributed to men’s higher levels on the dysfunctional power motive as well as to men’s lower levels on the functional affiliation motive (with 5 of 6 indirect effects being statistically significant). These findings have several implications. First, our results suggest that general constructs such as motives may be driving factors that underlie gender differences in less general phenomena such as unethical behavior. Second, when organizations are filling leadership positions, they can publicly disclose their appreciation of these motives so that women’s interest in these positions might increase. Finally, when organizations use these motives for selecting ethical leaders, women’s chances at obtaining such positions improve. Even though effect sizes were substantial, large amounts of variance remained unexplained either by motives or gender indicating that these variables should not be interpreted in isolation without considering other factors.
... By exploring how social judgments may be influenced by masculine generics (e.g. 'he' , 'man'), Horvath and Sczesny (2016), on the other hand, found that when masculine forms were used rather than paired forms, woman job applicants were viewed as less qualified for a high-status position. In another study grounded on the assumption that gendered language can reinforce traditional conceptions of gender roles, Mavisakalyan (2015), who analyzed a country-level data set of 108 countries in 2000, found that in places where the majority language is gender-intensive (i.e. ...
... We also suggest that organizations lead by example and publicly convey their appreciation of cooperative leaders and their disapproval of selfishness 117 . Such messages are expected to attract cooperative individuals into leadership positions [118][119][120][121] , which has been found to increase overall levels of cooperation 102 and may reduce discrimination against leaders who do not fit a masculine leadership stereotype 91,92,122 . While previous research has suggested to foster a general power motive among women 123 , we see no indication in our data to prioritize such an approach (given that men reported a stronger dysfunctional power motive whereas both genders reported similar levels on the functional power motive). ...
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A common assumption is that good leaders are driven by a power motive that motivates them to influence others. However, leaders need to restrain themselves in social dilemmas where cooperation maximizes collective outcomes. We theorize that in social dilemmas, a desire for positive relationships (affiliation motive) is more beneficial than a power motive because it draws attention away from short-term self-interest towards understanding others. In a game of Settlers of Catan in the laboratory, we find that a functional variant of the affiliation motive relates to verbal encouragement of cooperation, to fewer occurrences of oil spills, to higher ratings of transformational leadership and, in a field survey, to fewer selfish business decisions. Furthermore, a dysfunctional variant of the power motive relates to two of three indicators of selfishness. Group members perceive selfish individuals as assuming leadership roles which indirectly relates to slightly higher ratings of transformational leadership. This pattern of evaluation may privilege men who, on average, show more selfish behaviour which can be partially attributed to their motives. Mere awareness of gender-based discrimination does not enable raters to circumvent this pattern of evaluation. This work suggests a need for interventions that increase appreciation of cooperative leaders.
... Gaucher et al. (2011) documented subtle but systematic differences in the language used to advertise male-and femaledominated jobs: female-dominated jobs were advertised using communal traits, whereas masculine-dominated job ads used agentic traits. Importantly, framing the job advert to match the masculine stereotype may induce selection bias so that recruiters find masculine applicants more suitable (Horvath & Sczesny, 2016). Furthermore, stereotypical language used in job advertisements may also induce self-selection to jobs; that is, men rather than women would feel invited to apply for masculine-framed job postings and vice versa (Stout & Dasgupta, 2011). ...
Article
Gender stereotypes and related gender discrimination are encoded in and transmitted through language, contributing to gender inequality. In this article, we review research findings on subtle linguistic means of communicating gender stereotypes and gender hierarchies. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive repository of various instances of subtle linguistic biases potentially useful in creating a text analysis toolbox to quantify gender bias in language. Our focus is predominantly on those areas that have received less attention both in research and in policy making. As gender inequalities are communicated through linguistic practices, attempts to change social reality include changes in language. Therefore, we suggest possible interventions for practices of gender equality in language.
... A megjelenő hirdetési attribútumok milyensége meghatározza a jelentkezés valószínűségét, de a teljes felvételi folyamatra is kihat (Ducoffe, 1995;Ducoffe, 1996). A hirdetési tartalmaknak, a közvetített jeleknek és üzeneteknek a márkaimázs befolyásolásával hosszabb távú hatásuk van, különösen női munkavállalók esetében (Feldman et al., 2006;Horvath & Sczesny, 2016). ...
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Az álláshirdetéseknél megjelenő információs aszimmetria különleges figyelemfelkeltést és bizalmat idéz elő a hirdető cég és az álláshirdetésre jelentkezők között. A menedzsmentirodalomban a jelzési elmélet alkalmazása kiemelt szerepet kap a stratégiai menedzsment és a HR-menedzsment területén. A vállalkozások számára az álláshirdetések attribútumainak megtervezése és kidolgozása különösen jelentős a legjobb képességű munkavállalók megtalálásában. Emellett a fiatal munkavállalók jellegzetességeinek és munkakeresési szokásainak ismerete is szükséges az álláshirdetési folyamat sikerességéhez. A tanulmány célja alapot adni az álláshirdetésekben megjelenő értékajánlat kidolgozásához, ahhoz, hogy az álláshirdetők azonosítani tudják a fejlesztendő pontokat és ezek ismeretével a munkakeresők igények beépítésével az álláshirdetéseket vonzóbbá tegyék. A kvalitatív megkérdezés alapján elért kutatási eredmények azt mutatják, hogy a hirdetésekkel szemben a vonzó megjelenés és munkáltatói márka fontossága kiemelkedő a megkérdezett fiatal munkavállalók számára. A szerzők a hirdetések értékelésénél az értékelemzés módszerét vették alapul ahhoz, hogy a leghatékonyabban kidolgozható hirdetésfunkciókat és értékhordozó funkciókat azonosítani tudják, mely funkciókat már az értéktervezés módszerével ábrázolták.
... Furthermore, some studies provide evidence of negative consequences that this male bias of masculine generics may have. For example, in a German hiring simulation study, Horvath and Sczesny (2016) found that female applicants for high-status positions were perceived as a worse fit for the job when the job title was in its masculine noun form, compared to a masculine-feminine pair. A study by Vervecken et al. (2013) with German-and Dutch-speaking children found that when a stereotypically masculine profession was introduced using only the masculine form, women were perceived as less successful in that profession. ...
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In Polish, it is obligatory to mark feminine or masculine grammatical gender on second-person singular past tense verbs (e.g., Dostałaś list ‘You received-F a letter’). When the addressee’s gender is unknown or unspecified, masculine but never feminine gender marking may be used. The present self-paced reading experiment aims to determine whether this practice creates a processing disadvantage for female addressees in such contexts. We further investigated how men process being addressed with feminine-marked verbs, which constitutes a pragmatic violation. To this end, we presented Polish native speakers with short narratives. Each narrative contained either a second-person singular past tense verb with masculine or feminine gender marking, or a gerund verb with no gender marking as a baseline. We hypothesised that both men and women would read the verbs with gender marking mismatching their own gender more slowly than the gender-unmarked gerund verbs. The results revealed that the gender-mismatching verbs were read equally fast as the gerund verbs, and that the verbs with gender marking matching participant gender were read faster. While the relatively high reading time of the gender-unmarked baseline was unexpected, the pattern of results nevertheless shows that verbs with masculine marking were more difficult to process for women compared to men, and vice versa. In conclusion, even though masculine gender marking in the second person is commonly used with a gender-unspecific intention, it created similar processing difficulties for women as the ones that men experienced when addressed through feminine gender marking. This study is the first one, as far as we are aware, to provide evidence for the male bias of second-person masculine generics during language processing.
... Women leadership has been a topic of immense interest among researchers bringing out constraints like glass ceiling (Bell et al., 2015;Sakshi Sharma & Kaur, 2019), tokenism (Flores, 2011;Watkins et al., 2019), backlash effect (Phelan & Rudman, 2010), lack of fit perception (Heilman & Martell, 1986;Horvath & Sczesny, 2016) and gender stereotyping or orthodoxy (Asgari & Dasgupta, 2004;Senior et al., 2014). Women are considered less competent and ambitious, more sentimental (Billing & Alvesson, 2000) than men, and are generally neglected while considering leadership positions (Phelan & Rudman, 2010). ...
Article
This article describes lived experiences of successful women leaders in government administration organizations in India. The analysis of women’s experiences revealed the enablers and deterrents faced by these women in their leadership trajectories. These factors are categorized as an individual: family background and childhood experiences, self-aspiration and leadership development and work-life balance and familial support or organizational viz. workplace and sociocultural challenges and success mantras. A combination of them has influenced the progression of these women. The results present the need for a massive social change initiated by human service organizations to shift the so-called patriarchal social system. The paper has identified various dimensions like prioritizing promoting diversity, mentoring, and redesign of human resource policies which need to be focused. Also, the organizations and government can use these findings to design development programs for realistically promoting more women to higher positions.
... Indeed, there are already a number of experiments that examine respective relationships and provide further insight into the mechanisms involved. If, for example, stereotypically male occupations were presented in masculineonly forms, women were considered to have lower chances of success and to be less suitable for the job than when the occupations were presented in gender-fair language (Vervecken et al., 2013Horvath and Sczesny, 2015). Gabriel and Gygax (2016) derive the following conclusions from self-categorization theory: if masculine-only forms are used to refer to all genders, it is uncertain whether women and members of other genders are included or not. ...
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Recently, the gender asterisk (“Gendersternchen”) has become more widespread in grammatical gender languages in order to represent all genders. Such gender-fair language is intended to help better address women and other genders and make their interests and achievements more visible. Critics often argue this would make the language less comprehensible and less aesthetically appealing. Two experiments examined the effects of the gender asterisk on text comprehensibility, aesthetic perception, and interest. N = 159 and N = 127 participants were randomly provided with a text in either masculine-only form or alternatively in gender-fair language with the gender asterisk. The results of the first experiment showed no impairment of comprehensibility and aesthetic evaluation of the texts by the gender asterisk and no effect on interest in the game, while the second experiment showed significant impairments of comprehensibility, aesthetic evaluation, and interest in the game by the gender asterisk. The proportion of singular forms is discussed as a possible explanation for the different results. Experiment 1 predominantly used plural forms like die Spieler*innen (∼“the fe*male players”) and did not include forms such as der*die Spieler*in (∼“the*the fe*male player”), whereas Experiment 2 included many such more complex singular forms. We argue that this issue might be crucial, and that it deserves full attention in future studies.
... Jak wykazano (np. Bem i Bem 1973;Stout i Dasgupta 2011;Horvath i Sczesny 2016), ogłoszenia zredagowane w rodzaju męskim mają zniechęcający wpływ na potencjalne kandydatki, które często rezygnują z ubiegania się o pracę, ponieważ uznają, że nie mają szans na jej otrzymanie. Użycie języka inkluzywnego przekłada się natomiast na większe zainteresowanie kobiet takimi ogłoszeniami. ...
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Artykuł stanowi polemikę z tezami Ignacego Nasalskiego zawartymi w tekście pt. „Funkcje i dysfunkcje języka inkluzywnego, ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem asymetrii rodzajowej w języku polskim” (Socjolingwistyka 2020), w którym Autor twierdzi, że system rodzajowy języków, rozumiany jako (a)symetrie między nazwami męskimi i żeńskimi, ma znikomy wpływ na sytuację społeczną kobiet, czego dowodzi różna struktura rodzajowa języków arabskiego, perskiego i polskiego, nieprzekładająca się na równouprawnienie kobiet w krajach, gdzie są one używane. W związku z tym faktem Autor kwestionuje zasadność tworzenia i stosowania nowych feminatywów w polszczyźnie. W niniejszym artykule wskazano liczne uproszczenia w argumentacji Nasalskiego, a także pomijanie przez niego wielu prac przedstawiających i dokumentujących odmienny punkt widzenia. Dotyczą one nierówności płci w języku arabskim oraz badań nad wpływem języka na nasze myślenie i zachowania, a także negatywnych konsekwencji stosowania języka wykluczającego oraz korzyści z używania form o charakterze równościowym.
... Una manera d'exposar el gènere serien les formes marcades com a femenines. Lisa Kristina Horvath i Sczesny (2015) van comparar els efectes de les formes masculines amb sufixos femenins (ProfessorIn), usades en alemany, amb els de l'ús de la forma femenina junt a la masculina. Les primeres pal·liaven els biaixos de percepció de competència de les dones, però no els d'inadequació per a llocs de treball de direcció, mentre que les segones (primer la forma femenina i després la masculina) permetien contrarestar eficaçment el biaix de gènere present a la societat. ...
Article
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Gender-inclusive language has become prominent in modern societies as a political measure for acknowledging gender-based diversity. The changes required to speak in non-sexist ways have aroused awareness but also resistance. A position that has achieved special traction in institutional contexts for some languages (including Catalan) is that masculine forms are actually the neutral form of gendered languages. Based on the absence of a morphological mark, grammar scholars use unmarked to refer to masculine forms that match the lexical root of words. This conventional meaning has been altered in using the term to intrinsically justify a semantic, communicative, sociocultural, and even symbolic neutrality of masculine forms. The argument denies or, at best, ignores the relationship between language, cognition, and society. This article reviews the knowledge accrued on that relationship on the basis of empirical studies challenging the alleged neutrality of masculine forms and assessing specific linguistic means that may counter the gender bias that looms large on our societies and how it is constructed as natural.
... Unexpectedly, the gender-neutral child condition was more effective in reducing stereotyping than even the daughter condition, which included multiple mentions of the female gender. Although this result was not anticipated, it converges with a growing body of literature demonstrating that gender-fair language (e.g., replacing "policeman" with "police officer") can increase the visibility of women in male-typed roles (Horvath & Sczesny, 2016;Stahlberg et al., 2007). ...
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“A father and his son are in a car accident. The father dies. The son is rushed to the ER. The attending surgeon looks at the boy and says, ‘I can't operate on this boy. He's my son!’ How can this be?” Fifty years after the riddle first received public attention, one likely answer proves elusive: the surgeon is the boy's mother. Seven studies (N = 6,987) were conducted to explore the vicissitudes of the surgeon = male stereotype. In Study 1, over 70% of participants failed to reach the mother solution. However, a reduction in bias was also observed: the percentage of mother inferences more than doubled when “son” was replaced with a gender-neutral kinship term (“child”), suggesting that even incidental exposure to gender-neutral language can loosen the grip of stereotypes. In fact, gender-neutral language was more effective in reducing bias than a condition (“daughter”) with multiple mentions of the female gender. In Study 2, we replicated this finding in a nationally representative sample of the United States, and demonstrated that 82% of Americans failed to provide the mother inference in response to the classic riddle. Additionally, within this nationally representative sample, the demographic and psychological correlates of the surgeon = male stereotype were explored. In Studies 3–5, we interrogated the mechanisms of stereotype reduction in the child condition (Study 3), the degree to which this stereotype simply reflects base rates (Study 4), and eliminated an alternative explanation (Study 5). Finally, in Studies 6–7, the generalizability of the surgeon = male stereotype was tested and confirmed in a non-WEIRD country that supplies medical expertise to the world (India; Study 6), and the result was extended to an inverse gender–occupation stereotype (nurse = female; Study 7). Taken together, these data demonstrate the surprising strength of a gender occupational stereotype and its boundary conditions.
... Implicit Bias Training & Other Awareness Raising Efforts e.g., education on the benefits of diversity, increasing 'bias literacy' (knowledge of extant forms of bias and related processes) Carnes et al., 2015;Chang et al., 2019;Forscher et al., 2019;S. M. Jackson et al., 2014;Payne & Vuletich, 2018;Pritlove et al., 2019 Skills-based Training e.g., how to practice stereotype replacement, perspective taking Bezrukova et al., 2016;Carnes et al., 2015 'Lean in' or 'Self-Empowerment' Strategies e.g., encouraging women and other targets of discrimination to be more confident (in line with assimilation approaches) Kim Gaucher et al., 2011;Hentschel et al., 2020;Horvath & Sczesny, 2016;Sczesny et al., 2016 Structured, Transparent, and/or Blind Evaluation Procedures e.g., removing applicant names [signalling gender or race], using pre-set interview questions, using transparent evaluation criteria that are predetermined and pre-weighted in terms of importance Behaghel et al., 2015;Goldin & Rouse, 2000;Heilman & Caleo, 2018;Johnson & Kirk, 2020;Levashina et al., 2014;Uhlmann & Cohen, 2005 Inclusive and Supportive Family/Care Leave Policies (optional, mandated, and/or [un]paid) Engen et al., 2012;Gault et al., 2014;Hyde et al., 1996;Vinkenburg et al., 2015; also see Morgenroth & Heilman, 2017;Rudman & Mescher, 2013; Increased Access to and Support of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs, or affinity groups) Foldy, 2019;Welbourne et al., 2017; also see Begeny, 2019;Begeny & Huo, 2017, 2018Huo et al., 2015;Rodriguez et al., 2016 Increased Access to Role Models & Other Sources of Support, Guidance Cheryan et al., 2011;Dennehy & Dasgupta, 2017;French et al., 2018;Morgenroth et al., 2015;Stout et al., 2011 Redefining Prototypes e.g., redefining 'what it takes' to be successful, or what 'the ideal person' looks like, in a particular role or profession Danbold & Bendersky, 2018 Changing Stereotype-Laden Climates e.g., removing objects, symbols, group practices signalling that the space 'belongs to' or is normative for a specific group, such as stereotypically masculine objects or practices signalling that the role or profession is a 'man's job' Cheryan et al., 2009; also see Heilman & Caleo, 201820 Begeny, Wong, Kirby, & Rink (2021 ...
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Leaders exist in myriad types of groups. Yet in many of them—including in organizational, political, and educational domains—leadership roles are disproportionately occupied by individuals of certain social categories (e.g., men, white individuals). Speaking to this imbalance in representation, there is a wealth of theory and research indicating that gender and race are key to understanding: (a) who tends to get placed in leadership roles, and (b) what an individual’s experience will be like while in that role or on the path to it. In part, this is because there are commonly held stereotypes that make certain individuals—often those of socially dominant racial and gender groups—seem better suited for leadership. By comparison, individuals of other genders and races are often perceived and evaluated as less suitable and treated as such (e.g., deprived of opportunities to become leaders or develop leadership skills). These stereotypes can also elicit disparate internal states (e.g., stereotype threat, internalized negative self-perceptions) that affect individuals’ likelihood of pursuing or obtaining such roles (e.g., by affecting their motivation or performance). In this way, leadership dynamics are intimately connected to the study of gender and race. Overall, these dynamics involve several psychological processes. This includes myriad forms of gender and racial bias—discrimination in evaluations, pay, hiring, promotions, and in access to role models, mentorship, and support; backlash effects, queen bee effects (self-group distancing), glass cliff effects, motherhood penalties, and fatherhood bonuses. It also involves multiple lines of theorizing—role congruity theory, lack of fit, masculine defaults and ambient belonging, modern sexism, aversive racism, social identity threat, and others. Looking ahead, there are several critical directions for advancing research on gender, race, and leadership. This includes examining leadership processes from a more precise, intersectional lens rather than studying the implications of one’s gender or race in isolation (e.g., by integrating work on intersectionality theory, gendered races, and intersectional invisibility). Future study of these processes will also need to consider other relevant social identities (e.g., reflecting class, religion, age, sexuality, ability and neurodiversity, nationality, and immigration status), along with a more thorough consideration of gender—going beyond the study of (cisgender) men and women to consider how transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals are perceived and treated in leadership roles or on the path to such roles. Additionally, and ultimately, it will be critical to develop effective strategies for addressing the underrepresentation of women, racial and ethnic minorities, and other social groups in leadership. In part this will mean carefully evaluating strategies now being employed (e.g., organizational diversity messages, quotas and affirmative action, mentorship programs)—including those that may be largely ineffective, if not causing harm (e.g., implicit bias training, campaigning for women to “lean in”). Addressing the lack of diversity in leadership will be a crucial step toward tackling broader issues of social inequity.
... Androcentrism manifests in the evaluations of categories that are primarily associated with men (Bem, 1993). For instance, when job advertisements and titles contain more androcentric information, women are less likely to apply to Stout and Dasgupta (2011) and are perceived as less qualified for Hovarth and Sczesny (2016) the positions. ...
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Because men are overrepresented within positions of power, men are perceived as the default in academia (androcentrism). Androcentric bias emerges whereby research by men and/or dominated by men is perceived as higher quality and gains more attention. We examined if these androcentric biases materialize within fields that study bias (psychology). How do individuals in close contact with psychology view psychology research outlets (i.e., journals) with titles including the words women, gender, sex, or feminism (sex/gender-related) or contain the words men or masculinity (men-related; Study 1) versus psychology journals that publish other-specialized research, and do these perceptions differ in the general public? While the men-related journal was less meritorious than its other-specialty journal, evidence emerged supporting androcentric bias such that the men-related journal was more favorable than the other sex/gender-related journals (Study 1). Further, undergraduate men taking psychology classes rated sex/gender-related versus other-specialty journals as less favorable, were less likely to recommend subscription (Studies 1–2), and rated the journals as lower quality (Study 2 only). Low endorsement of feminist ideology was associated with less support for sex/gender-related journals versus matched other-specialty journals (Studies 1–2). Decreased subscription recommendations for sex/gender-related journals (and the men-related journal) were mediated by decreased favorability and quality beliefs, especially for men (for the sex/gender-related journals) and those low in feminist ideology (Studies 1–2). However, we found possible androcentric-interest within the public sphere. The public reach of articles (as determined by Altmetrics) published in sex/gender-related was greater than other-specialty journals (Study 3). The consequences of these differential perceptions for students versus the public and the impact on women’s advancement in social science and psychological science are discussed.
Article
Background: Orthopaedics is the least gender-diverse medical specialty. Research suggests that the use of gendered language can contribute to workforce disparity and that gender-neutral language supports the inclusion and advancement of women, but the degree to which gender-neutral language is used by academic departments in what typically is a department's highest position (department chair) has not been characterized. Questions/purposes: (1) Is the proportion of department websites that use the term chairman (as opposed to chair) greater in orthopaedics than in five other surgical and medical specialties? (2) Are departments led by chairs who are women less likely to use "chairman" than those led by men, and does this vary by specialty? Methods: Seven hundred fourteen official websites of orthopaedic, neurosurgery, general surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology departments affiliated with 129 allopathic medical schools were screened. Any use of the term chairman on title pages, welcome messages, and faculty profile pages was identified using a Boyer-Moore string-search algorithm and terms were classified based on their location on the site. The overall use of the term chairman was compared by specialty and gender of the chair. Results: Sixty percent of orthopaedic department websites (71 of 119) used the term chairman at least once, a proportion higher than that of pediatrics (36% [46 of 128]; OR 0.38; 95% CI, 0.23 to 0.63; p < 0.001), internal medicine (31% [38 of 122]; OR 0.030; 95% CI, 0.18 to 0.53; p < 0.001), and obstetrics and gynecology (29% [37 of 126]; OR 0.28; 95% CI, 0.17 to 0.48; p < 0.001), but no different than that of neurosurgery (57% [54 of 94]; OR 0.91; 95% CI, 0.52 to 1.6; p = 0.74) and general surgery (55% [69 of 125]; OR 0.83; 95% CI, 0.50 to 1.4; p = 0.48). Across disciplines, departments whose chairs were women were much less likely to use the term chairman than departments whose chairs were men (14% [17 of 122] versus 50% [297 of 592]; OR 0.16; 95% CI, 0.09 to 0.28; p < 0.001). Conclusions: The frequent use of the term chairman in orthopaedics, coupled with the preference of women to use the term chair, suggests considerable room for growth in the use of gender-equal language in orthopaedics. Clinical relevance: Our current efforts to increase the number of women in orthopaedics may be undermined by gendered language, which can create and reinforce gendered culture in the field. Electing to use gender-neutral leadership titles, while a relatively small step in the pursuit of a more gender-equal environment, presents an immediate and no-cost way to support a more inclusive culture and counteract unconscious gender bias. Future studies should explore the individual attitudes of chairs regarding the use of gendered titles and identify additional ways in which biases may manifest; for example, the use of gendered language in interpersonal communications and the presence of unconscious bias in leadership evaluations. Continued efforts to understand implicit bias in orthopaedics can guide actionable strategies for counteracting gendered stereotypes of the specialty, in turn aiding initiatives to recruit and promote women in the field.
Conference Paper
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This contribution focuses on women in leadership positions. We propose that two convictions are relevant to the effects of having women in high places. On the one hand, women as a group are expected to employ different leadership styles than men, in this way adding diversity to management teams. On the other hand, individual women are expected to ascend to leadership positions by showing their ability to display the competitiveness and toughness typically required from those at the top. We posit that both convictions stem from gendered leadership beliefs, and that these interact with women's self-views to determine the effectiveness of female leaders. We develop an integrative model that explains the interplay between organizational beliefs and individual-self definitions and its implications for female leadership. We then present initial evidence in support of this model from two recent programs of research. The model allows us to connect “glass cliff” effects to “queen bee” effects showing that both relate to the perceived salience of gender in the organization, as well as individual gender identities. Each of these phenomena may harm future career opportunities of women, be it as individuals or as a group. We outline how future research may build on our proposed model and examine its further implications. We also indicate how the model may offer a concrete starting point for developing strategies to enhance the effectiveness of women in leadership positions.
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Children's occupational interests and their perceptions of the divergent occupational successes of women and men reflect cultural gender norms. Since language is a vehicle for transporting gender cues and gender norms, we tested the premise that children's perceptions of stereotypically male jobs can be influenced by the linguistic form used to present an occupational title. Three experiments with 809 primary school students suggest that occupations presented in pair form (e.g., Ingenieurinnen und Ingenieure, female and male engineers), compared to descriptions using the generic masculine form (e.g., Ingenieure), generally increase the mental accessibility of female jobholders, promote more gender-balanced perceptions of the success of males and females, and strengthen girls' interest in stereotypically male occupations.
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When interested in examining psychological hypotheses preceding data gathering especially in designs with more than two groups the standard ANOVA approach does not represent a very satisfying testing strategy. In these cases the statistical hypotheses actually tested are linked only loosely to the psychological hypothesis under scrutiny. In order to link both kinds of hypotheses more closely, the statistical hypotheses should be derived from the psychological one. These derived statistical hypotheses refer to contrasts a priori, which are constructed in order to conform with the predictions. Accordingly, the method of planned contrasts as a versatile alternative avoiding the shortcomings of the common ANOVA approach is chosen, and its advantages for testing a priori hypotheses are demonstrated. Examples are provided to show how to examine psychological hypotheses by means of the proposed testing strategy where these hypotheses refer to two independent (e.g. age and an experimental variable) and one (or more) dependent variable(s) and enabling predictions within and across age groups.
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Three experiments investigated how grammatical gender and gender stereotypicality influence the way person information is mentally represented. Participants read sentences about social groups denoted by nouns with different grammatical gender and stereotypicality. A following sentence contained a reference to the social group that qualified the group members as female, male, or neither one. Experiment 1 tested grammatically masculine nouns; Experiment 2 tested gender-balanced forms, composed of the masculine and the feminine or neither one; and Experiment 3 tested nouns without gender inflection. Stereotypicality varied within studies. Second sentence reading times differed depending on the fit between grammatical gender and stereotypicality of the first sentence’s subject and the subsequent information’s gender-relatedness. Both grammatical gender and stereotypicality contribute biological gender information to mentally represented person information. Strong grammatical input may override stereotypicality’s influence. The feminine’s influence seems to be weaker than the masculine’s. Results are discussed in the framework of the scenario mapping and focus approach.
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Zusammenfassung: Die vorliegende Untersuchung pruft, ob sogenannte “generisch” (d.h. in geschlechtsneutralem Sinne verwendete) maskuline Sprachformen dazu fuhren, dass Personen geschlechtsausgewogen mental reprasentiert werden. Unter dem Vorwand einer Untersuchung zur Kreativitat wurden 150 studentischen Versuchspersonen schriftlich Satze vorgegeben, die eine Personenbezeichnung im Plural in verschiedenen Sprachformen (generisches Maskulinum, Binnen-I, Schragstrich-Schreibweise) als Satzsubjekt enthielten. Die Versuchspersonen sollten kurze Geschichten uber die bezeichneten Personen schreiben und diese Personen dabei auch namentlich benennen. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass generisch maskuline Formen zu mehr Reprasentationen mannlicher Personen fuhrten als die sprachlichen Alternativen. Eine Gleichverteilung mannlicher und weiblicher Reprasentationen trat ausschlieslich bei der Verwendung der Schragstrich-Schreibweise auf, wohingegen das generische Maskulinum zu einem hoheren Anteil reprasentierter Manner, di...
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Contrasts are statistical procedures for asking focused questions of data. Researchers, teachers of research methods and graduate students will be familiar with the principles and procedures of contrast analysis included here. But they, for the first time, will also be presented with a series of newly developed concepts, measures, and indices that permit a wider and more useful application of contrast analysis. This volume takes on this new approach by introducing a family of correlational effect size estimates. By returning to these correlations throughout the book, the authors demonstrate special adaptations in a variety of contexts from two group comparison to one way analysis of variance contexts, to factorial designs, to repeated measures designs and to the case of multiple contrasts.
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This study examines the role of gender stereotypes in justifying the social system by maintaining the division of labor between the sexes. The distribution of the sexes in 80 occupations was predicted from participants’ beliefs that six dimensions of gender-stereotypic attributes contribute to occupational success: masculine physical, feminine physical, masculine personality, feminine personality, masculine cognitive, and feminine cognitive. Findings showed that, to the extent that occupations were female dominated, feminine personality or physical attributes were thought more essential for success; to the extent that occupations were male dominated, masculine personality or physical attributes were thought more essential. Demonstrating the role of gender stereotypes in justifying gender hierarchy, occupations had higher prestige in that participants believed that they required masculine personality or cognitive attributes for success, and they had higher earnings to the extent that they were thought to require masculine personality attributes.
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Summary : Occupational self-efficacy as a function of grammatical gender in French The participants of this study, two hundred fifty French pupils aged fourteen and fifteen years, had to estimate their degree of self-efficacy toward various occupations. According to the experimental condition, occupations were presented only with the male grammatical gender [e.g., enseignant] or with the feminine grammatical gender [e.g., enseignant(e)]. Results obtained in this study indicate that, on average, pupils reported significantly more self-efficacy when occupations were presented with the feminine grammatical gender. Implications of this result are discussed with regard to the lack of the feminine grammatical gender in French for the most prestigious occupations. Keys words : Androcentric bias, grammatical gender, self-efficacy.
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This chapter focuses on the implications of both the descriptive and prescriptive aspects of gender stereotypes for women in the workplace. Using the Lack of Fit model, we review how performance expectations deriving from descriptive gender stereotypes (i.e., what women are like) can impede women's career progress. We then identify organizational conditions that may weaken the influence of these expectations. In addition, we discuss how prescriptive gender stereotypes (i.e., what women should be like) promote sex bias by creating norms that, when not followed, induce disapproval and social penalties for women. We then review recent research exploring the conditions under which women experience penalties for direct, or inferred, prescriptive norm violations.
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Many studies have demonstrated that interpersonally oriented leadership abilities such as being empathetic, supporting work relationships, or explicitly stating an interest in helping others are particularly relevant in crisis contexts. Since these leadership abilities coincide with stereotypically feminine roles and traits, it has been proposed that a “think crisis–think female” association may exist (Ryan, Haslam, Hersby, & Bongiorno, 2011). In a field study (N = 301 workers and managers) we examined this association and identified two relevant factors that may hinder the acceptance of female leaders and stereotypically feminine characteristics in crisis management: instrumental (male) leadership role models and sexist attitudes. In doing so, we provide new insights into the “think crisis–think female” relationship and illustrate the potential implications of this occurrence for gender studies and for research into work and organizational psychology.
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Demonstrates that the physical attractiveness stereotype established by studies of person perception is not as strong or general as suggested by the often-used summary phrase what is beautiful is good. Although Ss in these studies ascribed more favorable personality traits and more successful life outcomes to attractive than unattractive targets, the average magnitude of this beauty-is-good effect was moderate, and the strength of the effect varied considerably from study to study. Consistent with the authors' implicit personality theory framework, a substantial portion of this variation was explained by the specific content of the inferences that Ss were asked to make: The differences in Ss' perception of attractive and unattractive targets were largest for indexes of social competence; intermediate for potency, adjustment, and intellectual competence; and near zero for integrity and concern for others. The strength of the physical attractiveness stereotype also varied as a function of other attributes of the studies, including the presence of individuating information. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Argues that occupational sex bias is not inevitable nor invariable and presents a "lack of fit" model to describe the dynamics of sex bias and the conditions that prompt and support its occurrence in organizational settings. The model uses a single principle to explain how both self-directed sex bias (self-limiting behavior) and other-directed sex bias (discrimination) operate before and after a woman's entry into an organization. Areas considered include selection, evaluation, and causal explanations of success. A review of the literature demonstrates the integrative capacity of the model, and consideration of the model's implications illustrates its practical utility in furthering organizational change to reduce sex bias in the workplace. (71 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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113 working men and women were presented with the work history of an assistant vice president (AVP) of a midsized corporation who was either an attractive or unattractive male or female. Additionally, the AVP's rise to the senior ranks was depicted as either unusually rapid or normative in pace. Ss read the material and answered an attributional questionnaire. Results indicate that, as predicted, attractiveness had different effects on the degree to which the AVP's success was attributed to ability depending on whether the AVP was male or female: Males' ability attributions were enhanced and females' ability attributions were detrimentally affected by their good looks. Also as expected, capability judgments followed a similar pattern. Appearance was additionally shown to have different consequences for males and females when likeability and interpersonal integrity were rated. However, contrary to predictions, the rapidity of corporate ascent did not interact with appearance or sex in affecting attributions about or impressions of the stimulus AVPs. Conceptual and practical implications are discussed. (21 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Three studies examined how a woman's reaction to a man's benevolently sexist offer of help affected observers' perceptions. Results suggest a dilemma for women: A woman who accepted benevolently sexist help was perceived as warm but incompetent and less suited for a competence-related job (management consultant), whereas a woman who declined help and asserted her independence as a woman was perceived as competent but cold and less suited for a warmth-related job (day care worker). By contrast, observers viewed the male help-offerer especially favorably (warmer, more competent, and more qualified as a management consultant) when the female target accepted (versus confronted) his patronizing offer. But only perceivers who endorsed benevolent sexism showed these effects. Implications for challenging benevolent sexism are discussed. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Gender stereotypes regarding task competence may lead perceivers to set different standards for diagnosing competence in women versus men. Specifically, stereotypes may prompt lower minimum standards (or initial screening criteria) but higher confirmatory standards for women than men (Biernat & Kobrynowicz, 1997). In two studies simulating hiring decisions, predictions were that women would be (1) more likely than men to make a short list for a job but (2) less likely than men to be hired for the same job. Results were generally consistent with predictions only among female participants (Studies 1 and 2), among those exposed to a female experimenter (Study 1), and among those held accountable for their decisions (Study 2). The role of motivational factors in the setting of standards is discussed.
Article
The function and potential importance of statistical tests in examining and evaluating substantive and psychological hypotheses is discussed. Psychological hypotheses are sharply distinguished from statistical hypotheses. Decisions on statistical hypotheses must be separated from decisions on psychological hypotheses. Some differences between both kinds of hypotheses are addressed, and the question is attacked whether they are complementary or not. The answer to this question is negative. The use of the modus tollens in theory corroboration is discussed and it is argued that evaluations of substantive hypotheses always is accompanied by some inductive aspects. A further reason for the discontent with statistical tests is identified: Most of these tests are rather insensitive the differential patterns of predictions and of data, whereas differential patterns of data can be derived from nearly every psychological hypothesis or theory. To test for these differential patterns statistical tests should be applied thoughtfully, not routinely. Keywords: Examination of psychological hypotheses, statistical tests as a decision rule, discontent with statistical tests, modus tollens 1 I thank E. Heise, A. Iseler and H. Westmeyer for their many helpful comments, and Shirley McCarthy for improving my English. The remaining mistakes are mine.
Article
Drawing on theories of stereotype content and role congruity, this research investigated the role of stereotypes for employment discrimination against older candidates. Study 1 investigated the content of stereotypes about older workers, focusing on warmth and competence as the two core dimensions in social judgement. As predicted, older workers were perceived as less competent but warmer than younger workers. Studies 2 and 3 investigated how these stereotypes interact with job requirements to predict age bias in an experimental setting. Further, they tested if warmth- and competence-related stereotypical inferences mediate the relation between candidate age and selection bias. Results showed that age bias was robust. Older candidates were discriminated against, even if the job primarily required warmth-related qualities, and independently of evaluators' own age or professional experience in human resources. Moreover, age bias was mediated by competence-related stereotypical inferences. Age bias was also mediated by inferences related to warmth but those inferences were opposite to the high-warmth older worker stereotype identified in Study 1. Implications of the findings for theoretical approaches to age discrimination and for organizational practice designed to combat age discrimination are discussed.
Article
Two studies are reported which indicate that both sex-biased wording in job advertisements and the placement of help-wanted ads in sex-segregated newspaper columns discourage men and women from applying for “opposite-sex” jobs for which they might well be qualified. Both studies were originally conducted and presented as part of legal testimony in actual sex discrimination cases.
Article
Working moms risk being reduced to one of two subtypes: homemakers—viewed as warm but incompetent, or female professionals—characterized as competent but cold. The current study ( N= 122 college students) presents four important findings. First, when working women become mothers, they trade perceived competence for perceived warmth. Second, working men don't make this trade; when they become fathers, they gain perceived warmth and maintain perceived competence. Third, people report less interest in hiring, promoting, and educating working moms relative to working dads and childless employees. Finally, competence ratings predict interest in hiring, promoting, and educating workers. Thus, working moms' gain in perceived warmth does not help them, but their loss in perceived competence does hurt them.
Article
Previous research has shown that experimenter-presented masculine generics can create male bias in the gender content of subjects' imagery. The present study tests experimentally whether subjects' own use of masculine generics has a similar effect on their imagery. College student subjects were induced to complete sentence fragments using masculine or unbiased generics, then asked to describe their imagery for each sentence and to give a first name to fit the person they visualized for each sentence. These dependent measures were coded for gender, and as predicted, analysis of variance showed that male bias was higher in the masculine generic condition than in the unbiased condition. Also as predicted, male subjects were more male-biased overall than were female subjects. The findings are discussed in terms of linguistic relativity (the proposition that language can shape thought), prototypicality (the most typical he is probably a man), and activation of multiple meanings (he has male-specific and gender-neutral denotations, and both may be activated even when the gender-neutral meaning is intended).
Article
Existent research, mostly carried out among North American college students has shown that male words (man, he, his) intended to refer grammatically to both sexes (i.e., generically) are in fact androcentric in various ways. Using a “proactive inhibition” procedure, we tested for androcentrism in the memory code of man and his by language users who were sampled randomly from a New Zealand school population between 11 and 17 years of age (n = 408). It was found that the words man and his were coded in memory primarily as members of the masculine linguistic category, and that they were quite alien to the feminine linguistic category. The results provide a linguistic-cognitive link for understanding androcentrism in these words.
Article
This study reports a meta-analysis of experimental investigations of the effects of applicant gender (1842 subjects across 19 studies) and qualifications (1767 subjects across 20 studies) on hiring recommendations. It was found that (1) males were preferred over females, though this effect was not consistent and accounted for only 4% of the variance in hiring recommendations overall; (2) in comparison to gender effects, the mean effect of applicant qualifications (represented by variables such as education and experience) on hiring recommendations accounted for 35% of the variance across studies; (3) the design of the studies (within-subject versus between-subjects) significantly moderated both gender and qualifications effects; and (4) mean responses of professional and student samples were not significantly different, although students provided more homogeneous evaluations in both studies of gender and qualifications. We concluded, with some methodological reservations, that there is marginal evidence of employment discrimination against females in experimental studies of hiring decisions.