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Penalties for success: Reactions to women who succeed at male gender-typed tasks Essay

Women are subjected to gender-biased evaluations with their performance on male gender-typed tasks often devalued and their competence denied. This result from the inconsistency between stereotypic perceptions of what women is like and the qualities thought necessary to perform a typically male job. The main idea of this article is to demonstrate this phenomenon, to provide insight into why and under what conditions it is likely to occur, and to examine its consequences for how women are evaluated and rewarded in work settings.

Key to their argument is the dual nature of gender stereotypes that not only denote differences in how women and men actually are but also denote norms about behaviours that are suitable for each about how women and men should be. Thus behaviours are positively valued for men and typically prohibited for women. Gender stereotypes and the self-fulfilling expectations that they produce prompt bias in evaluations of women.

When a woman is acknowledged to have been successful at performing male gender-typed work, her motivation in achievement situations are inhibited by her fear of disapproval for not being feminine. Or there are penalties for women who violate gender-stereotypic prescriptions by being successful are apt to take the form of social censure and personally directed negativity. It states that success can be costly for women in terms of social approval. Competent women for example as compared with competent men have been depicted as cold and undesirable as fellow group and also as severely wanting interpersonally (e.g. bitter, selfish, devious).

In their first study, they sought to demonstrate the reactions to women and men on a male gender-typed job when performance on that job was clearly successful rather than ambiguous with regard to performance outcome. They predicted 2 hypothesis:1)In a male gender-typed job, women will be rated as less competent and less achievement oriented than men when information about performance outcome is ambiguous but not when success is clear.

2)In a male gender-typed job, women will be rated as less likable and more interpersonally hostile than men when information about their success is clear but not when the performance outcome is ambiguousThe result of this study supported those hypotheses. Women were viewed as less competent and characterized as less achievement oriented than men only when there was ambiguity about how successful they had been; when the womens success was made explicit there were no discernible differences in these characterizations. However, when success was made explicit, there was differentiation between women and men in how they were viewed interpersonally hostile.

In the second study, the subjects reviewed and evaluated men and women who were all highly successful, but at jobs of different gender types. They expected the following:1)Successful women as compared with successful men will be rated as less likable and more interpersonally hostile when the job is male in gender type but not when it is female or neutral in gender type.

The study provided strong support for the hypotheses. So negative reactions to successful women occurred only when the job was male in gender type, but not when it was female or neutral in gender type. Same negative ratings were directed at successful men occupying female gender-typed jobs. But the findings suggest that the failure to act in accordance with gender-stereotypic norms does not uniquely produce social disapproval for men, if it does not the same then for women.

The study 3 was focus on the effect of being disliked on how individuals are evaluated and on the types of recommendations made about how they should be treated in work settings. The premise behind this study was that people who are disliked are at a serious disadvantage when evaluations are made and rewards distributed.

1)Information about likability will have a significant effect on overall evaluations and reward recommendations made about both male and female employees regardless of how competent they are.

These results suggest that being disliked can have detrimental effects in work settings. The fact that an unlikable individual has a worthy of salary increase or promotions was found to be true, regardless of whether the individual is a man or woman. There are many things that lead an individual to be disliked but it is only women, not men, for whom a unique propensity toward dislike is created by success in a nontraditional work situation. That is meaning that success can create an additional impediment to womens upward mobility when they have done all the right things to move ahead in their careers.

General discussion on this experiment:Success in traditionally male domains can have deleterious consequences for women.

They are less liked and more personally derogated as compared with equivalently successful menNegative feelings about successful women can have serious consequences: affect on evaluations, recommended organizational rewards, including salary and special job opportunitiesWomens success would prompt disapproval only in situations in which the success signalled deviation from behaviour deemed appropriate for them (penalties for success only when the job was a male gender-typed)In none of the three studies, female subjects react differently to the stimulus targets than did male subjectsFinally, success in nontraditional areas is double-edged for women.

The price is social rejection taking the form of both dislike and personal derogation, and appears to have definite consequences for evaluation and recommendations about reward allocation. Terms like bitch, ice queen, iron maiden, and dragon lady are invoked to describe women who have successfully climbed the organizational ladder. That provide some insight into why despite their success, high-powered women often tend not to advance to the very top levels of organizations.

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