Handbook of Research on Promoting Women’s Careers
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Handbook of Research on Promoting Women’s Careers

Edited by Susan Vinnicombe, Ronald J. Burke, Stacy Blake-Beard and Lynda L. Moore

In a changing world where women have dominated as graduates from universities in the West, recent research has shown that the same trend is also strikingly evident in the newly emerging markets. Tapping into this female talent pool is extremely important and advancing women’s careers has become a key business issue. This Handbook lays out a number of promising approaches. First the business case for doing so is presented. The challenges facing women are reviewed, followed by various programs that address particular needs such as mentoring, leadership development programs for women, work and family initiatives, and succession planning. Finally, case studies of award-winning organizational initiatives are described.
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Chapter 6: Gender stereotypes and their implications for women’s career progress

Suzette Caleo and Madeline E. Heilman


Despite social advances in the workplace, disparities in pay, opportunity and status continue to exist between male and female employees. Today, women in the United States earn 81 cents to men’s dollar (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012), comprise only a small percentage of top managers(Catalyst, 2012), and remain underrepresented in traditionally male occupations and fields (Gabriel and Schmitz, 2007). In this chapter we discuss the ways in which gender stereotypes contribute to this continuing discrepancy. We review research demonstrating how gender stereotypes can produce biased evaluations and outline the conditions under which they are likely to hinder women’s career progress. To study the effects of gender stereotypes, it is important to understand their content. In the past decades researchers have identified the attributes that are used to describe men and women (Broverman et al., 1972; Diekman and Eagly, 2000), and subsequent inquiries suggest that these conceptions still exist today (Schein, 2001). Broadly, gender stereotypes designate that men are agentic: they are thought to be aggressive, ambitious, dominant and task-oriented. In contrast, women are thought to be communal: they are seen as kind, sympathetic, interpersonally sensitive and people-oriented.

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