When Fit Is Fundamental: Performance Evaluations and Promotions of Upper-Level Female and Male Managers

Department of Psychology, Baruch College, City University of New York, New York, NY 10010-5585, USA.
Journal of Applied Psychology (Impact Factor: 4.31). 08/2006; 91(4):777-85. DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.91.4.777
Source: PubMed


Using archival organizational data, the authors examined relationships of gender and type of position (i.e., line or staff) to performance evaluations of 448 upper-level managers, and relationships of performance evaluations to promotions during the subsequent 2 years. Consistent with the idea that there is a greater perceived lack of fit between stereotypical attributes of women and requirements of line jobs than staff jobs, women in line jobs received lower performance ratings than women in staff jobs or men in either line or staff jobs. Moreover, promoted women had received higher performance ratings than promoted men and performance ratings were more strongly related to promotions for women than men, suggesting that women were held to stricter standards for promotion.

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    • "At the same time , employees are often expected to exhibit strong commitment to their organizations , such as working long hours and relocating to other cities when asked ( Trauth 2002 ) . Thus , gender roles could lead to women ' s disadvantage in terms of both salary and career development ( Blau and DeVaro 2007 ; Lyness and Heilman 2006 ; Yap and Konrad 2009 ) . "
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    • "Yet, it is also important to consider the type of job for which applicants are being evaluated. The role of lack of fit perceptions in the assessment of male and female job applicants may be based on the sex-typing of the job (Lyness & Heilman, 2006). Jobs are considered to be sex-typed as male or female based on the sex composition of typical job-holders (Cejka & Eagly, 1999; Krefting, Berger, & Wallace, 1978). "
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    • "Caucasian and Hispanic applicants both benefited from a high-quality resume, but African American applicants were evaluated negatively even with strong credentials (King, Madera, Hebl, Knight, & Mendoza, 2006). Central to understanding how ethnic and gender stereotypes can influence judgments of professors is the stereotyping of occupations based on (a) job responsibilities believed to be linked to ethnicity and gender or (b) the ethnicity and gender of the usual job-holder (Heilman, Block, & Martell, 1995; Lyness & Heilman, 2006). "
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