Symposium 2009 - Gender And The Leadership Lifespan In Context: From Becoming To Being A (Female) Leader

Diversity in the workplace
Thursday May 18   11:30 AM to 01:00 PM (1 hour 30 minutes)
Human resource management
Diversity in the workplace
Gender and the leadership lifespan in context: From becoming to being a (female) leader
P. W. Lichtenthaler 1,*, T. Hentschel 2, A. Fischbach 1
1German Police University, Münster, 2TUM School of Management, TU Munich, Munich, Germany
Main Abstract Content: State of the Art: More women are working than ever before, yet they remain underrepresented in higher leadership positions. Despite time, packed pipelines at many bachelor’s and master’s levels, as well as multi-faceted organizational diversity efforts (e.g., implicit bias and leadership trainings), work settings continue to reflect societal gender biases
New Perspectives/Contributions: Much of the existing research on gender biases and leadership has focused on leaders’ qualities and behaviors, or predictors of gatekeepers’ selections (e.g., sexist attitudes). However, many female employees are lost already before reaching leadership positions, often due to factors beyond the individual. Thus, this symposium provides new insights on gender biases at work focusing on the broader leadership lifespan in context. First, Schaumberg (USA) shows that focusing on personal instead of social power heightens women’s leadership aspirations. Second, Henningsen (Switzerland) demonstrates the importance of evaluators’ fairness perceptions when hiring based on preferential selection policies. Third, Hentschel (Germany) shows how the initial allocation of work tasks consistent with gender stereotypes can have negative career consequences for women later on. Fourth, Lichtenthaler (Germany) presents evidence on how violating emotional gender stereotypes represents an obstacle for female leaders. Finally, Gloor (Switzerland) demonstrates that team gender demography overrides leader gender bias in evaluations.
Research/Practical Implications: This symposium provides a comprehensive understanding of how gender bias works at different career stages. It advances scholarship with novel findings on interventions and policies that shape the talent pool from which leaders are selected as well as the contexts within which leadership is enacted.

German Police University
Research Associate

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