Men Are Assumed To Be Good Managers, But Women Have To Prove It

Academic studies can be fascinating… and totally confusing. So we decided to strip away all of the scientific jargon and break them down for you.

The Background

While some women have been able to break through the glass ceiling, far too often women are stereotyped as the more “emotional” sex and therefore less suited for leadership than men. This antiquated B.S. was summarized by researcher Virginia E. Schein, who in 1973 found that when people “think manager” they “think male.” This means that, by virtue of their gender, women are perceived as less competent than their male coworkers, which can lead them to being passed over for managerial positions — whether or not they actually possess the traits that supposedly make them awful, cranky leaders.

In a new study, researchers from the German Police University wanted to see how strong this bias was, and if people truly considered women too emotional to be good leaders.

The Setup

Researchers surveyed 1,098 working men and women. These people were given a list of 17 emotions used in the past to study both managers and the gender stereotyping of emotions (i.e. joy, surprise, envy, fear and sympathy). The survey asked people how characteristic each of these emotions were for either successful managers, men in general, women in general, male managers, female managers, successful male managers or successful female managers. People were only asked about one target group — not all seven — and they rated how common these emotions were for that group on a scale of one to five.

The Findings

The researchers found “very clear gender-stereotyping effects.” Both men and women tended to believe that women lacked the emotional qualities considered essential for good leadership.

Women in general were perceived as —> Read More