If the job involves making critical decisions, chances are the man will get promoted, but if it entails creativity in marketing and public relations, then the woman is the top choice. In fact, women are known to occupy the position of Chief Marketing Officers, with almost 150 women CMOS compared to the 11 CEOs. 12 This is because women have a descriptive stereotype as being outgoing and persuasive. Women are also known for being fickle-minded, emotional, and temperamental— qualities that are detrimental to a company when possessed by a CEO. To generalize, Cangemi, et al. attested that “ stereotypes based on gender have historically placed women in a nurturing, submissive role while men are seen as the dominant, more aggressive gender” while “ cultural stereotypes suggest males are intellectually superior to women, are more emotionally stable, and are more achievement-oriented and assertive than women. ” 13 This is the underlying reason why women are promoted less when it comes to top managerial positions and a barrier that they need to overcome in order to rise to the top of the corporate ladder.
Aside from the descriptive stereotypes attached to both men and women which, in a way, assign respective job qualities to them, the perspective stereotypes— societal beliefs of how men and women should behave— is yet another major contributing factor to the reality that is the glass ceiling.
The perspective stereotypes extend beyond their limits into the descriptive stereotypes in that “ people not only believe that women are more communal than men (i. e., the descriptive stereotype), but that they should behave in nurturing, sympathetic ways, and show high concern for others” (the perspective stereotype). 14 “ Prescriptive stereotypes, therefore, prohibit women from being tough, aggressive and dominant.
The violation of these prescriptions leads to disapproval, often taking the form of social penalties. ” 15 And these social penalties can be seen in the fact that many women work so hard and excel at their jobs at the same rate and even more than most men, yet they are passed over for promotions in favor of their male counterparts. It is simply not acceptable for women to become workaholics when they should tend to become good wives, mother or both. The lack of fit analysis done by Welle and Heilman explains why men are favored over women in handling top managerial and government positions. 16 This is because “ jobs become gender-typed by virtue of both the number of men and women who occupy them and the attributes deemed necessary for successful performance. ” 17 For instance, there are more male firefighters and pilots as there are more female nurses and secretaries.
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