Evaluation of leaders – does gender still matter?

Pietraszkiewicz, Agnieszka; Rovira Asenjo, Núria; Sczesny, Sabine (21 May 2015). Evaluation of leaders – does gender still matter? (Unpublished). In: 17th Congress of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP) - Respectful and Effective Leadership. Oslo, Norway. 20.05.-23.05.2015.

Purpose: Leadership positions are still stereotyped as male, especially in male-dominated fields such as STEM. Therefore, women in such positions run the risk of being evaluated less favorably than men. Our study investigates how female and male leaders in existing teams (engineering project) are evaluated, and how these evaluations change over time.

Design/Methodology: Participants worked in 45 teams to develop specific engineering projects. Evaluations of 45 leaders (33% women) by 258 team members (39% women) were analyzed, that is, leaders’ self-evaluation and their evaluation by team members.

Results: Although female and male leaders did not differ in their self-evaluations at the beginning of the project, female leaders evaluated themselves better within time. However, team members evaluated female leaders better than male leaders at the beginning of the project. These gender differences disappeared over the time.

Limitations: It should be replicated in a non-student sample.

Implications: The results show that female leaders entering a male-dominated field (engineering) are evaluated better by team members than male leaders at the beginning of the team work, in line with the ‘shifting standard model’ (Biernat & Fuegen, 2001). While the initial impression formation of female and male leaders is influenced by category membership, its impact decreases over time as a consequence of individualization (Fiske & Neuberg, 1990); this results in similar evaluations over time.

Originality: To our knowledge this is the first study to systematically test perceptions of change in the evaluation over time of female and male leaders in natural setting.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Neuroscience and Social Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Pietraszkiewicz, Agnieszka, Sczesny, Sabine


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Agnieszka Pietraszkiewicz

Date Deposited:

16 Dec 2015 08:48

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:50

Additional Information:

Symposium "Atypicality in the Work Context I: Challenges, Barriers, and Opportunities".



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