Have the stereotypes of women as leaders changed?: An investigation of the generational differences in the views of women as leaders.

Students: Katherine Paris, Lauren Jones* and Antoinette Morea
Mentor: Mary E. Ignagni
Major: Psychology 

The current study investigates the stereotype of women leaders as perceived by the Millennial generation, as well as, the generational differences between Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers’ view on women leaders. Historically organizations have had primarily male leaders and women still struggle to break through the glass ceiling into leadership positions as well as with employees’ opinions of them. More Millennials are entering the workforce, which could change the way women are viewed as leaders. It is believed that since Millennials have mothers and other female role models who are in leadership positions, their stereotype view of leader is different from earlier generations. In the current study, data was collected using participants mainly from Amazon Mechanical Turk, as well as, Sacred Heart students through the university’s SONA system. Participants completed a survey, the Schein Descriptive Index (SDI), to measure attitudes toward male and female leadership stereotypes. Additionally, they were asked to read a bank manager job description and were given one of two identical resumes containing either a male or female name. Participants were asked to read the resumes and then decide if they would hire the person for the bank manager position. If the participant decided to hire the person they were asked to recommend a salary. If they chose not to hire the individual whom the resume was for, they were asked to briefly explain their decision. As more Millennials are entering the workforce it is imperative to understand how that generation views women leaders in the workplace as their views may be more egalitarian than previous generations which can ultimately help women in leadership roles.

*Honors Senior