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Deconstructing the Glass Ceiling

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DOI: 10.4236/sm.2012.21011    7,557 Downloads   16,303 Views   Citations


Aims: There is a large body of evidence-based research illustrating the challenges faced by women who strive in male-typed careers. The purpose of this paper is to outline and integrate a review of the relevant social psychology research into a model of women’s leadership. Proposed Conceptual Argument: As leadership is stereotypically a masculine dimension, women who emulate agentic characteristics will rise into leadership. However, empirical evidence overwhelmingly illustrates the consequences to agentic women whose competence is simultaneously expected and minimized. Findings/Conclusions: This model raises awareness of complex issues in research for women including: the “promotion of ‘male’ females”, “success does not equal competence”, “agentic women sustain reactive opposition”, “the process of self-selection”, “stereotypic threat”, and “equality equals greed”. Because of the ubiquity of these cognitive distortions, awareness may mitigate antagonism and conflict to propel women into leadership roles.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Isaac, C. , Kaatz, A. & Carnes, M. (2012). Deconstructing the Glass Ceiling. Sociology Mind, 2, 80-86. doi: 10.4236/sm.2012.21011.


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