One reason why there are still so few women in top management in Germany: Apparently many people do People in comparison heavier, women than Executives categorize and respond accordingly. But what can you do about it?

Best of HR –®

The image of executives is male

According to the implicit leadership theories, individuals develop mental abstractions of what constitutes leadership (also called leadership prototype) over the course of their lives.

These executive prototypes are unconsciously used as schematic categorization patterns on the basis of which information is perceived, evaluated and categorized.

The empirically confirmed assumption that the degree of fit between the target person and the executive prototype in succession not only determines whether the respective target person is seen as a leader;

The shot determines how we record something - not the other way around!

The books on the subject (advertising)

Tip: You can also use this text as a PDF or an eCourse on the subject download. You can also find it in the shop exciting inspiration to experience your success, plus offers & news in Newsletter ! (Advertising)

The degree of fit also determines how openly the perceptive subject is exposed to any attempt at influence by the target person, how trustworthy the relationship between them can be or generally how well the target person is assessed in their leadership role.

According to this approach to categorizing managers, it is less the objective qualities as a manager than cognitive perception processes that are important decidehow people react to a (potential) leader.

In practice: management prototypes are male!

Several papers consistently and repeatedly show that leadership prototypes are more masculine. For example, in a study by Offermann et al., Subjects find aspects of masculinity explicit as leadership prototypes.

In addition, Johnson and colleagues demonstrated that a total of eight leadership prototypic factors identified by Offermann and colleagues were clearly attributed to men, while only one dimension was more strongly associated with women.

Socially and historically characterized

Discounts for your success (advertising)!

The remaining four dimensions were used to describe male and female managers alike. These results are in line with various other findings, in which the leadership role is defined by test persons rather male.

Da leading position were traditionally clothed by men for several centuries and the connection between man and Guide thus firmly anchoring both in the personal and in the social leadership prototype, the results described above are hardly surprising.

Think manager, think male

While modern developments in gender mainstreaming and gender equality policy may have had an impact on this, it is likely to be more long-term as gender role models have generally proved to be very resilient to change.

The think-manager-think-male phenomenon, which Virginia E. Schein made known in 1996, can still be found in current studies.

Should career women behave masculine?

Accordingly, it may be advisable to advise women with ambitions for leadership positions to behave as masculine as possible, and thus more likely to fulfill the gender role that can be well associated with leadership.

In doing so, however, it is overlooked that a breach of the expectations placed on women because of their gender is also a negative assessment.

Male behavior does not lead to the goal!

A “forced” change in behavior for women is therefore not only questionable from a normative and ethical point of view, but also practically difficult to do against the background of the empirical situation. The desired result - equality - is not achieved in this way!

Instead, other forms are needed to overcome this type of gender discrimination.

Top books on the subject

Read text as PDF

Acquire this text as a PDF (only for own use without passing it on according to Terms and conditions): Please send us one after purchase eMail with the desired title, we will then send the PDF to you immediately. You can also purchase text series.


Advice on success, goal achievement or marketing

You have Ask round to Career, Recruiting, personal development or increasing reach? Our AI consultant will help you for 5 euros a month – free for book buyers. We offer special ones for other topics IT services

5,00 / per month   Book

Book eCourse on Demand

Up to 30 lessons with 4 learning tasks each + final lesson as a PDF download. Please send us one after purchase eMail with the desired title Alternatively, we would be happy to put your course together for you or offer you a personal, regular one eMail-Course - all further information!


Skate eBook as desired

If our store does not offer you your desired topic: We will be happy to put together a book according to your wishes and deliver it in a format of yours Choice. Please sign us after purchase