Envisioning Oneself As A leader: Comparisons of Women and Men in Spain and the United States

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  • 1. Researchers: Lauren A. Killeen, Esther Lopez-Zafra, and Alice H. Eagly Reviewed By: Dominique Goldring, Jessica Lovins, Eunhee Yu, Greta Coates, Rachel Andrex, Zion Seyoum
  • 2. Introduction
    • This study was to examine the attractiveness of executive and management positions in industries with male and female images to college students in the United States and Spain.
    • The data explains the career choices that men and women make before entering the professional world and how it effects their cultural socialization.
    • Killeen, Lopez-Zafra, and Eagly hypothesized:
      • Higher-level executive positions would be less appealing to women than men in both Spain and the United States
      • This assessment also evaluated how positive the leader role was and also how possible.
  • 3. Introduction
    • Occupational roles are signified in importance partially by the stereotypical gender traits assigned the demands of the occupation, therefore, more feminine industries and occupations are ranked lower in the corporate hierarchy
      • The military vs. elementary education
    • By assuming that these gender and occupational expectations are internalized, Killeen, Lopez-Zafra, and Eagly explored the extent to which they influence self-development in young men and women, and how the students perceived the consequences of occupying a leadership role
  • 4. Methods
    • Participants
      • 525 total participants
      • United States & Spain median age of 20 years
      • Midwestern private university in the U.S.
        • 224 students (109 men, 115 women)
      • University in southern Spain
        • 301 students (141 men, 160 women)
      • 58.9% Caucasian, 15.6% Asian American, 1.3% African American, 1.3% Hispanic, 22.7% unknown. (United States participants)
      • Participants in Spain 100% Caucasian.
  • 5. Methods – continued
    • Procedure and Design
      • 10 minute questionnaire presented in English in the U.S. and in Spanish in Spain.
      • Participants were asked:
        • To imagine occupying a role at a particular managerial level in a large company of an auto manufacturing and or clothing manufacturing industry
      • These industries were selected as masculine or feminine.
      • The roles were mid-level manager, vice president, and CEO in a large clothing/auto manufacturing company
      • Participants were asked to write down 3 aspects of themselves as a person in this role.
  • 6. Methods – continued
    • Selection of Industries
      • Masculine and feminine industries were chosen based on responses of pilot participants
        • 40 (21 women, 19 men) from the U.S.
        • 69 (19 men, 50 women) from Spain.
      • Participants completed a 3 minute questionnaire
      • Response choices ranged from 1 (not at all interested) to 5 (extremely interested)
      • Half of participants rated how interested the typical man would be in a career within each of the 12 industries. The other half rated the typical woman’s interest.
      • Participants rated auto manufacturing as more interesting for the typical man, and clothing manufacturing as more interesting for the typical woman.
  • 7. Methods – continued
    • Dependent Variables
      • Positivity and possibility :
        • Participants rated how positive their imagined role would be overall
        • How likely it would be that they could achieve the imagined role
        • 5 point scale
      • Perceived Outcomes:
        • 15 item questionnaire
        • list of 9 life goals (feeling comfortable in your job, enjoying your job, feeling secure in your position, helping those who are less fortunate, making the world a better place, improving the lives of others, achieving a high standard of living, having influence over others, and gaining a sense of power)
        • 6 categories of persons (co-workers, spouse, children, friends, men in general, and women in general)
  • 8. Methods – continued
      • Perceived Outcomes (continued):
        • 5 point scale ranging from 1 (greatly impair) to 5 (greatly facilitate)
        • Participants rated the extent to which their imagined role would facilitate attaining each of the 9 life goals and facilitate having good relationships with each of the 6 categories of persons.
        • Participants rated the importance of the same 9 goals and 6 relationships on a 5 point scale ranging from 1 (not important at all) to 5 (extremely important)
      • Hours per week on the job:
        • Participants estimated the number of hours per week they would spend on the job, given the role.
      • Participant Attributes:
        • Participants reported their sex, age, college major, and the surveyors recorded the participants’ visible ethnicity.
        • Participants indicated if they planned to marry, have children, work full/part time or stay at home in the years before their children attended school.
  • 9. Results
  • 10. Results – continued
  • 11. Results – continued
  • 12. Results – continued
  • 13. Results – continued
    • Interactions of Sex of Participants with Managerial Level and Industry
      • Positivity Ratings:
        • Managerial level, industry and sex of participant was significant
        • The interaction between industry and sex of the participant was non significant for the CEO position but significant for the vice president and mid-level manager position
        • Women’s evaluations were more positive for the vice president feminine industry than the masculine industry
        • Men’s evaluations were non-significantly more positive for the vice president masculine industry than the feminine industry
        • For the mid-level managerial position, women’s evaluations were non-significantly more positive for the feminine industry than the masculine industry
  • 14. Results – continued
      • Positivity Ratings - continued:
        • Men’s evaluations were non-significantly more positive for the masculine industry than the feminine industry than the feminine industry.
      • Possibility Ratings:
        • Women regarded the vice president position as more possible in the feminine industry than the masculine industry.
        • Men regarded the mid-level manager level position as more possible in the feminine industry than the masculine industry.
        • In general, the positions were perceived as more possible n the feminine industry than the masculine industry.
  • 15. Results – continued
    • Perceived Outcomes:
      • The managerial level, Industry, and Sex of participants interaction was significant on favorable job environment and humanitarian benefits.
      • On the ratings of favorable job environment, the industry and sex of participants interaction was significant only for the mid-level manager position.
      • The trends were similar at the vice president level but non-significant
      • On the ratings of humanitarian benefits, the industry and sex of participants interaction was also significant only for the mid-level manager position.
      • Non-significant trends showed that men believed that these benefits were greater in the masculine then feminine industry.
      • Women believed they were greater in the feminine than masculine industry.
  • 16. Results – continued
    • Effects of Nation
      • In Spain, the evaluations of the roles were more positive among men.
      • In the United States they were non-significantly more positive among women than men.
      • More positive evaluation of the mid-level manager position in Spain than the United States
      • U.S. participants gave higher ratings to the roles than Spanish participants
      • The CEO position was perceived as equally possible by the U.S. and Spanish participants.
      • The vice president and the mid-level manager positions were both perceived as more possible by the U.S. than Spanish participants.
      • Spanish participants perceived more facilitation than U.S. (favorable job environment)
      • More positive evaluation of the mid-level manager role in Spain.
      • On the ratings of humanitarian benefits, Spanish participants perceived more facilitation.
      • U.S. participants estimated longer hours on the job.
      • More Spanish participants intended to remain single
      • The intention to be employed full time with young children was more common among U.S.
  • 17. Discussion
    • Women have trouble envisioning themselves in professional leadership roles because the number of Spanish and American women in executive positions is low
    • Men occupy the majority of the executive positions in both Spain and the United States and therefore can envision themselves in leadership roles
    • Men and women in the study agreed that the roles were equally positive; however, men considered them more possible than women did
    • Women in the study perceived managerial positions as having a greater capacity to help others; men perceived managerial positions as having a greater capacity to develop relationships with the men and women they work with
  • 18.
    • Women found managerial positions in feminine industries more positive than in masculine industries, vice versa for men
      • Although the positions were considered less possible, the feeling did not intensify with the higher-level positions
      • Conflicts with the idea of the glass ceiling preventing women from attaining higher-level executive positions (Matlin et al.,2008)
    • To improve experiment: include other races, not just Caucasians, and not just college students
    Discussion
  • 19. References
    • Eagly, Alice H., Esther Lopez-Zafra and Lauren A. Killeen. (2006). Envisioning Oneself as a Leader: Cmparisons of Women and Men In Spain and the United States. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 312-322 .
  • 20. Group Discussion
    • What would have been expected is that the theoretical glass ceiling would prevent women from attaining an executive position in business, but based on the results of the study?
    • What actually exists is a set of internal limitations on occupational possibilities?
      • These are based on cultural gender expectations and the perceived outcomes of possessing authoritative power
    • How much do you agree with the study? Is the glass ceiling due to external interventions or due to internal limitations on the self?