Leadership subtype activation: Favorable evaluations of women leaders in chief positions

Journal Article

The purpose of this study was to compare evaluations of female leaders to male leaders in chief leadership positions to ascertain if women leaders are evaluated favorably to men and to assess if women leaders benefit from a gendered stereotype that differs from women in lower and middle management positions. Results of a two (CEO gender: male, female) by two (attribution: internal, external) by two (performance: successful, unsuccessful) experimental design showed that when organizational success was attributed to internal attributions female CEOs were evaluated more favorably than male CEOs on both agentic and communal abilities. These findings suggest that women in chief leadership positions activate a subtype that distinguishes highly successful women from the stereotype of women in general (i.e., low agentic characteristics, high communal characteristics) and the counterstereotype for women managers that sometimes elicits the backlash effect (i.e., high agentic characteristics, low communal characteristics).

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rosette, AS; Leonardelli, GJ; Tost, LP; Phillips, KW

Published Date

  • December 1, 2006

Published In

  • Academy of Management 2006 Annual Meeting: Knowledge, Action and the Public Concern, Aom 2006

Citation Source

  • Scopus