According to a new meta-analysis (integration of a large number of studies on the same subject), leadership continues to be viewed as culturally masculine and therefore women suffer from two primary forms of prejudice.
Alice Eagly, study co-author and professor of psychology at the Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, the US, the journal Psychological Bulletin says, “Cultural stereotypes can make it seem that women do not have what it takes for important leadership roles, thereby adding to the barriers that women encounter in attaining roles that yield substantial power and authority.”
Women are viewed as less qualified or natural in most leadership roles, the research shows, and secondly, when women adopt culturally masculine behaviors often required by these roles, they may be viewed as presumptuous. Go figure?
It’s time for women leaders to shed the worn-out, “stereotypical” masculine way. That’s a dead-end road. What stands before us is integrating our naturally feminine power with our innate masculine traits. We all have them. No matter what gender we are. Jean Houston speaks directly to this in her interview with Carolyn.
For more on this study, read this Northwestern University post.