Why are women penalized for success at male tasks?: The implied communality deficit

Heilman, Madeline E. and Okimoto, Tyler G. (2007) Why are women penalized for success at male tasks?: The implied communality deficit. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92 1: 81-92. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.92.1.81

Author Heilman, Madeline E.
Okimoto, Tyler G.
Title Why are women penalized for success at male tasks?: The implied communality deficit
Journal name Journal of Applied Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0021-9010
Publication date 2007-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1037/0021-9010.92.1.81
Volume 92
Issue 1
Start page 81
End page 92
Total pages 12
Place of publication United States
Publisher American Psychological Association
Language eng
Abstract In 3 experimental studies, the authors tested the idea that penalties women incur for success in traditionally male areas arise from a perceived deficit in nurturing and socially sensitive communal attributes that is implied by their success. The authors therefore expected that providing information of communality would prevent these penalties. Results indicated that the negativity directed at successful female managers - in ratings of likability, interpersonal hostility, and boss desirability - was mitigated when there was indication that they were communal. This ameliorative effect occurred only when the information was clearly indicative of communal attributes (Study 1) and when it could be unambiguously attributed to the female manager (Study 2); furthermore, these penalties were averted when communality was conveyed by role information (motherhood status) or by behavior (Study 3). These findings support the idea that penalties for women's success in male domains result from the perceived violation of gender-stereotypic prescriptions. Copyright 2007 by the American Psychological Association.
Keyword Communal prescriptions
Penalties for success
Prescriptive gender stereotypes
Sex discrimination
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: UQ Business School Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 189 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 11 Jul 2011, 12:55:19 EST by Karen Morgan on behalf of UQ Business School