Women, Gender Stereotypes, & Leadership: Overcoming the Negatives or Accentuating the Positives?

Inmaculada Macias-Alonso, Sophie Alkhaled, Minna Paunova, Florence Villeséche

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Gender stereotypes are often cited as one of the main barriers to women´s advancement to positions of leadership. This is because the concept of leadership is more closely aligned with the male stereotype of agency than with the female stereotype of communality. As a result, gender bias can arise within organizations when people negatively judge women´s leadership abilities. The papers in this symposium jointly contribute to the literature on gender stereotypes and leadership by clarifying how the perceptual and evaluative differences that women face may serve as obstacles (or not) to their professional advancement. Thus, these papers illustrate, at an aggregate level, how women leaders face the advantages and disadvantages of their gender stereotype. On one hand, women need to overcome the negative aspects of enacting the masculine behaviors that leadership seems to require. On the other, women might accentuate the positive links of their own communal behaviors with forms of leadership, such as socially responsible or ethical leadership. Finally, this symposium contributes to AOM´s 2018 theme “Improving Lives” by opening an interesting debate: Should women be more agentic or should leadership be more communal? Answers to this question can inform organizational interventions and trainings to reduce gender bias in employee evaluations and subsequent promotion decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Seventy-eighth Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
EditorsGuclu Atinc
Place of PublicationBriar Cliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication date2018
Article number16184
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2018: Improving Lives - Chicago, United States
Duration: 10 Aug 201814 Aug 2018
Conference number: 78


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address
SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings

Cite this