Professor Gary Powell - The "Good Manager" over five decades: towards an androgynous profile?

Research Seminar on February 23th, 2021

  • Date: 23 February 2021 from 13:00 to 14:00

  • Event location: On line with TEAMS

  • Access Details: Free admission

       Descriptions of a “good manager” obtained from the same two populations during each of the past five decades, when aggregated over time (n = 2347), emphasized masculine or agentic traits associated with men in gender stereotypes over feminine or communal traits associated with women.

However, good-manager descriptions exhibited trends over the five decades towards a decreasing emphasis on masculinity and increasing emphasis on femininity.

These two trends culminated in a good manager’s being described in each populations as androgynous, or exhibiting a balance of masculine and feminine traits, in the data newly collected for this study.

The recent endorsement of an androgynous profile of a good manager adds a provocative finding to the body of theory and research on the linkage between gender and managerial stereotypes that contradicts the prevailing view of “think manager—think masculine.”

Although women face systemic barriers in the managerial ranks of organizations, a change in managerial stereotypes to an androgynous profile would represent one less barrier for them to overcome.

If managers come to be held to an androgynous standard in their behavior regardless of their gender, there would be a more level playing field for candidates for open management positions, rather than one tilted in favor of men.