Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders

Alice H Eagly*, Steven J. Karau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2310 Scopus citations

Abstract

A role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders proposes that perceived incongruity between the female gender role and leadership roles leads to 2 forms of prejudice: (a) perceiving women less favorably than men as potential occupants of leadership roles and (b) evaluating behavior that fulfills the prescriptions of a leader role less favorably when it is enacted by a woman. One consequence is that attitudes are less positive toward female than male leaders and potential leaders. Other consequences are that it is more difficult for women to become leaders and to achieve success in leadership roles. Evidence from varied research paradigms substantiates that these consequences occur, especially in situations that heighten perceptions of incongruity between the female gender role and leadership roles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-598
Number of pages26
JournalPsychological Review
Volume109
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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