Academic journal article American Academic & Scholarly Research Journal

Gender Stereotypes' Impacts on Organizations and Women Managers' Performance

Academic journal article American Academic & Scholarly Research Journal

Gender Stereotypes' Impacts on Organizations and Women Managers' Performance

Article excerpt

Abstract: The aim of this literature review is to provide a clear definition of the concept of gender stereotyping and to explore the impact of gender-role stereotypes on an organisation's decisions such as selection and evaluation, as well as on women managers' performance. This review of the literature indicates that there is general agreement that the gender-role stereotype continues to be a key barrier to, and is responsible for the slower progress of, women's presence in high management positions. Gender stereotypes are consistent across cultures and time; however, there is some degree of variation across the world which confirms that gender stereotypes are stmctured by limited cognitive and social systems which may change over time. Adequate evidence supports the fact that that gender-role stereotyping has a negative effect on women's managerial performance such as in their negotiation and decision-making performance. In addition, gender stereotypes also negatively influence organisational decisions such as selection and evaluation in a way which constrains women from progressing to higher levels of managerial achievement.

Key term: gender stereotype, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, educational leadership, managers' performance,


There are many theories in the literature available that attempt to explain why women are underrepresented in senior management positions. Adkinson (1981), however, posits that "the dominant theory to explain the lack of women in administration and leadership positions is socialization and sex role stereotypes" (in Smyth, 2005 p. 69). Gender stereotyping and bias is accountable for the slower advancement of women in organisations (Bergeron, Block, & Echtenkam, 2006). This paper aims to contribute to understanding gender stereotyping, and to explore its impact on organisations and women managers' performance. The literature review that follows will be used to answer the questions: (1) what is the concept of stereotype and gender stereotypes? (2) Is managerial 'gender-typing' considered as a global phenomenon? (3) Do gender stereotypes affect organisational decisions and women managers' performance negatively?

1.1The background to the discussion

The focus for this assignment has been chosen based on my area of study and following discussion with my supervisor; it is regarding analysing women's roles in the field of educational leadership in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and presenting some of the difficulties that face women as leaders. In addition, it centres on gender stereotypes and its role in women's underrepresentation in senior leadership positions in the KSA.

As a predominantly Muslim country, the KSA has different educational policies for girls in comparison to many other Islamic countries. These educational policies deal mainly with gender - keeping male and female students separate from each other. As a result of these policies, women's educational institutions are separate from those of men (Almenkash, 2009). It would be expected, due to such a policy, that women lead the educational departments for women at all levels in the educational hierarchy (of those institutions). The reality, however, is different; powerful roles and positions with potential in the educational leadership process for women's departments, at the senior level, are dominated by men (Al-Essa, 2009).

Women in Saudi Arabia have made great strides in educational achievement and workforce participation; for instance, Saudi government figures show that women make up 57% of the total student population at universities (The Ministry of Higher Education in Saudi Arabi, 2010). Besides, according to Saudi statistics, women hold more than 45% of the total jobs in the Ministry of Education; the largest sector in which women work in Saudi Arabia (Department of Statistics and Information, 2010). On the other hand, only a very few of them hold high job positions (AL-Udwan, 2008). …

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