How a job acquires a gender (and less authority if it’s female)

“I’m not bossy, I’m the boss.”

So proclaims Beyoncé in a video in support of the #banbossy campaign. The campaign highlights how when little boys take charge, they’re often praised for being a “leader.” But when little girls do, they’re more likely to be scolded for being too “bossy.”

And it matters for grownups, too. Research and media stories abound with examples of how gender stereotypes disadvantage women leaders. A woman manager is less likely to be taken seriously by the people who work for her.

When men direct others, they’re often assumed to be assertive and competent. But when women direct others, they’re often disliked and labeled abrasive or bossy.

Our new study puts a twist on this narrative. Gender bias doesn’t merely disadvantage women, it also can disadvantage men. The reason? We don’t just stereotype men and women. We stereotype jobs. Read more

Sarah Thebaud and Laura Doering – The Conversation – 24 July 2017