A recent study has shown that the way managers are viewed is likely to change in the future as more women move into management positions.
Currently, only about two percent of the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are women. And so when most people think of leaders, they envision a male in the position. But in some businesses, women have moved into leadership roles, and in these areas, there is no stereotype of who a leader is.
Another survey has shown that these stereotypes of leaders as men have been an obstacle for women who want to move up the corporate ladder. Because of these stereotypes, surveys have shown that businesses are not fully using the talents and abilities of the women in their organizations. Women make up more than half of the people serving in management, professional and related jobs, but only a little more than 15 percent of them were corporate executives at Fortune 500 companies.
The research has shown that it is not women’s management style that is to blame for the dearth of female executives but gender stereotyping. And because of this stereotyping, companies are losing out on a lot of female management talent.
Men are still seen as capable of better leadership because of gender stereotyping, which often puts women in a no-win situation, as they are faulted for whatever methods they use. For example, if they act according to gender stereotypes, they are thought to be too soft, but if they oppose those stereotypes, they are thought to be too hard.
Female executives are held to higher standards than men, but they receive less compensation. They often have to work even harder than a man just to get the same level of recognition.
Women who are assertive as leaders are stereotyped as cold-hearted and not friendly, but if they take on a more feminine leadership personality, they are considered poor leaders.
All the research shows that businesses need to develop plans for how to combat these stereotypes so that they can get the best use out of their female management talent. Educating employees about these stereotypes and their effects was listed as a key method of changing attitudes about women and leadership.
Organizations need to give all workers the resources to enable them to be more aware of the skills that women leaders have and how stereotypes can harm organizations. Businesses also need to look at new ways of counteracting stereotypes in the workplace.
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