Gender Stereotyping and Self-Stereotyping Attitudes: A Large Field Study of Managers

45 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2017

See all articles by Tor Eriksson

Tor Eriksson

Aarhus University - Department of Economics

Nina Smith

Aarhus University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Valdemar Smith

Aarhus University - School of Business and Social Sciences

Abstract

The dearth of women in top managerial positions is characterized by a high persistence and insensitivity to changes and differences in institutions and policies. This suggests it could be caused by slowly changing social norms and attitudes in the labor market, such as gender stereotypes and gender identity. This paper examines gender stereotypes and self-stereotyping in a large cross section of (about 2,970) managers at different job levels in (1,875) Danish private-sector firms. The survey data used contain detailed information about the managers as well as their employers. We find significant gender differences between managers with regard to gender stereotyping attitudes. Male managers on average tend to have stronger gender stereotype views with respect to the role as a successful manager than their female peers. However, female CEOs' gender stereotypes do not differ from their male peers' and have significantly more pronounced masculine stereotypes than female managers at lower levels. Female managers have stronger beliefs in their own managerial abilities regarding feminine skills and weaker beliefs in their masculine skills, whereas the opposite is observed for male managers. Gender stereotypes and self-stereotypes vary across types of managerial employees and firms. Beliefs in own ability could explain at most ten percent of the observed gender differential in C-level executive positions.

Keywords: glass ceiling effects, gender, self-stereotypes, stereotypes, managerial labor markets

JEL Classification: J16, D83, D84, M51

Suggested Citation

Eriksson, Tor and Smith, Nina and Smith, Valdemar, Gender Stereotyping and Self-Stereotyping Attitudes: A Large Field Study of Managers. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10932, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3029802

Tor Eriksson (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - Department of Economics ( email )

Fuglesangs Allé 4
Aarhus, 8210
Denmark
45 87164978 (Phone)

Nina Smith

Aarhus University - Department of Economics ( email )

Universitetsparken
DK-8000 Aarhus C
Denmark
+45 8948 6413 (Phone)
+45 8615 5175 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Valdemar Smith

Aarhus University - School of Business and Social Sciences ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
Aarhus C, DK-8000
Denmark

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