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Alexander-Stamatios Antoniou and Virginia Aggelou

This chapter focuses on gender stereotypes and how they affect female managers throughout their careers. As is evident from the statistics, the number of female employees has increased and the quality of their work has improved significantly over the last few decades. Nonetheless, there are still barriers to be overcome. Women appear to be underrepresented in higher corporate positions, a phenomenon which appears to be connected to gender and leadership stereotypes. Many theories confirming this connection are mentioned. As a result, women leaders seem to violate the norm, since leadership remains associated with male-type behavior and agentic characteristics, such as aggressiveness. Backlash effects for female managers are often observed, even if they adopt a more masculine style of leadership. Along with gender stereotypes, the “queen bee” syndrome constitutes another reason for preserving the gendered hierarchy, although more research is needed in order to understand its complexity.