Leadership and Gender Stereotyping of Emotions: Think Manager – Think Male?

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Abstract

People believe women are more emotional than men but it remains unclear to what extent such emotion stereotypes affect leadership perceptions. Extending the think manager-think male paradigm (Schein, 1973), we examined the similarity of emotion expression descriptions of women, men, and managers. In a field-based online experiment, 1,098 participants (male and female managers and employees) rated one of seven target groups on 17 emotions: men or women (in general, managers, or successful managers), or successful managers. Men in general are described as more similar to successful managers in emotion expression than are women in general. Only with the label manager or successful manager do women-successful manager similarities on emotion expression increase. These emotion stereotypes might hinder women’s leadership success.

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