Study: Women Still Face Discrimination in Leadership Positions


Posted by: Chris

Many people assume that gender discrimination is only an issue for women who work in lower-level positions. However, that’s not necessarily true. A new study reveals that women can continue to face discrimination even as they climb up the corporate ladder.  

How Employees View Feedback From Men vs. Women

Researchers recently conducted a study to determine how employees respond to constructive feedback from both female and male managers. Each of the 2,700 participants were randomly assigned to either a male or female manager as part of the study. After completing basic transcription tasks, the participants received feedback from their manager. The results show that participants who received criticism from a female manager became less satisfied and interested in the job than participants who received criticism from a male manager. The results show that both female and male participants tended to respond this way to criticism from a female manager. Participants were also far less interested in returning to work for the same employer in the future after receiving criticism from a female manager. 

The negative reaction to criticism from female managers could stem from what people expect from both male and female managers. Research has shown that people tend to associate positive praise with female managers and harsh criticism with male managers. It’s human nature to respond in a negative manner if something goes against what is expected, which could explain why these participants reacted poorly to criticism from female managers. Because this behavior is unexpected, it could catch an employee off-guard or make them feel as if they are being singled out and attacked. 

What Do These Results Mean For Female Managers?

These results could have huge implications for females in the workplace. If employees react negatively to criticism from female managers, this response could discourage female managers from providing feedback to their employees in the future. As a result, they may use less effective management techniques in order to remain likeable and keep their employees happy. Some females may even avoid trying to climb the corporate ladder altogether. Either way, this negative attitude towards criticism from female managers could hurt women who want to be viewed as equals in the workplace. 

No one deserves to be treated unfairly in the workplace. If your rights have been violated, contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Let our attorneys work tirelessly to protect your workplace rights. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.