by Martin Abel for The Conversation
Imagine that your boss, Ethan, calls you into his office. He expresses disappointment in your recent performance and lack of commitment. How would you react? Accept the feedback and put in more effort? Would you pout in your office and start looking for a new job?
Now, would your reaction be different if your boss was not named Ethan but Emily?
I’m a professor of economics , and my research investigates this very question. We hired 2,700 workers online to transcribe receipts, randomly assigning a male or female name to a manager and randomly assigning which workers would receive performance feedback.
Results show that both women and men react more negatively to criticism if it comes from a woman. Our subjects reported that criticism by a woman led to a larger reduction in job satisfaction than criticism by a man. Employees were also doubly disinterested in working for the firm in the future if they had been criticized by a female boss.
This has important implications for the success of women in leadership. If using feedback is more likely to backfire for women in positions of power, they may adopt less effective management strategies or become altogether less interested in holding leadership positions.
Women in the workplace
Women make up 45% of employees of S&P 500 firms. Yet, they only make up 37% of managers at the midlevel, 26% at the senior level and 5% of CEOs.
This is true despite women having overtaken men in educational attainment. They have also begun scoring higher on leadership competency tests in recent years.
Existing studies do not find clear evidence of gender discrimination against job applicants for upper management. Due to methodological constraints, such research typically focuses on hiring for entry-level positions.
Discrimination in promotion is much harder to study, as work interactions are harder for researchers to observe.
Women in upper management are not simply being ignored. Workers hired for the transcription in our study actually spent slightly more time reading and thinking about feedback from female managers.
Neither can implicit biases explain why employees are less likely to take criticism well from women. While we found that workers in this study were on average more likely to subconsciously associate men with career and women with family, this tendency does not predict whether they discriminate against female bosses.
Discrimination is also not a lack of exposure to female supervisors. Workers stating that their previous female supervisor was highly effective were just as likely to discriminate.
Instead, what seems to drive the results are gendered expectations of management styles. Other studies have shown that workers are three times more likely to associate giving praise with female managers and twice more likely to associate giving criticism with male managers. People react negatively if something violates their expectations.
Case in point: critical female bosses.
It remains unclear to what extent results from this study generalize to more traditional work settings. Yet, the “gig economy” and other remote work arrangements are a rapidly expanding part of the economy.
Some have argued that these jobs offer more flexibility and thus particularly benefit women. However, findings from this study highlight additional concerns about discrimination in the gig economy due to lack of regulatory oversight and equal opportunity protections in these jobs.
What can be done?
Recently, some firms started trying to stem discrimination against women in management positions.
Several have employed “feedback coaches,” teaching workers to focus on the content of feedback rather than the identity of the person providing it. There is also evidence that informing people of their biases may affect their behavior.
Other research suggests that highlighting specific credentials of women in leadership – such as positive evaluations or reference letters – may be an effective remedy.
To end on a hopeful note: Discrimination against female bosses in my study is lower among younger workers and disappears for those in their 20s. Though younger employees may discriminate more as they age, it could be that this is a generational shift.
Martin Abel is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Middlebury
The Conversation publishes knowledge-based journalism that is responsible, ethical and supported by evidence from academics and researchers in order to inform public debate with facts, clarity and insight into society’s biggest problems.
21 Workers Test Positive for Coronavirus at Rock n Roll Ralphs
HOLLYWOOD (KTLA) — Workers rallied Friday outside a Ralphs store in Hollywood where 21 people have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The group called on the store to take more aggressive action when staff test positive for the virus, and to ramp up efforts to protect the grocery store employees, who are considered essential workers on the front lines of the pandemic.
They said they speak for thousands of workers who are afraid they aren’t getting enough protection as the virus continues to spread countywide, infecting more than 24,000 as of Friday.
The Ralphs at 7257 W. Sunset Blvd. has had an outbreak involving several workers who tested positive for the virus, according to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, which lists businesses and […]
‘Stay Put, Order In’ and Dine With Friends on Zoom, Says Mayor
WEST HOLLYWOOD — WeHo is home to some of the best restaurants in the world and our community members are used to gathering around restaurant tables and enjoying meals together. Now, there’s an opportunity to, instead, gather around kitchen tables at home and enjoy a meal (or many!) while supporting our local restaurants.
“One of the worst things about the Safer At Home directive is being disconnected from friends, neighbors, and the city around us,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico. “Don’t be alone if you don’t have to be – take advantage of the technology out there and invite a friend to Zoom in for Ziti or share some Farfalle over FaceTime.”
Mealtime is a wonderful opportunity to connect with friends, family, and loved ones using virtual teleconferencing technology, while partaking in your favorite delivered or takeout food.
Many West Hollywood restaurants remain open and are offering takeout, curbside, and delivery meals, which are sensitive to social distancing during the emergency. The City of West Hollywood and the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to offer a directory of “Stay Put, Order In” eateries in West Hollywood, which is accessible by visitingwww.weho.org/coronavirus (click the “Stay Put, Order In” link!) or www.wehochamber.com/dinein. This list is updated daily.
“We need to start hanging out together, and talking, and seeing each other again. So, why not plan to #WeHoDinnerConnect this week – maybe Saturday at 8 p.m.? Or Sunday at 7 p.m.? Or even just 15 minutes of screen-to-screen gossip,” said Mayor D’Amico. “And you don’t have to cook a thing… local restaurants have meals and menus tailored to take-away choices and they’re ready to send food over to your house or make arrangements for you to pick it up.”
If picking up food, remember to wear face coverings, which are required to enter essential businesses.
Amoeba Music Won’t Reopen Original Sunset Boulevard Store
HOLLYWOOD (TimeOut) — In a statement posted to its Instagram account on Monday, Amoeba announced that it would not be reopening its nearly two-decade-old flagship on Sunset Boulevard. Instead, the indie record shop will divert all of its resources to opening its new shop on Hollywood Boulevard, which they still hope to have ready in the fall.
“There are so many unknowns and uncertainties for a business like ours right now,” the statement reads. “The only way we can keep Amoeba Hollywood alive in the future is to make this difficult decision now.”
Our original story about the store’s GoFundMe campaign appears below.
It’s become a pit stop on music-lover’s tours of Hollywood, it’s hosted concerts from Patti Smith and Paul McCartney, and it’s weathered the Great Recession and the transition from CDs to MP3s to all things streaming. But with Amoeba Music’s future more uncertain now than ever, the massive independent record store is turning to its devotees for nearly half a million dollars to try to stay afloat.
In an essay on GoFundMe, Amoeba cofounders Dave Prinz and Marc Weinstein recount […]
County Hospitals Receive 300 iPads for Patients to See Family
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This Just In…
- County Hospitals Receive 300 iPads for Patients to See Family
- Processions to Cedars Will Salute Healthcare Workers on National Nurses Day
- WeHo Webinar: Loneliness, Isolation, Depression, and Anxiety During Pandemic
- Texas & California Wet Markets Show Full Extent of Vile Conditions
- White House Gift Shop Selling Coronavirus Commemorative Coins
- Joe Exotic Prison Has 2nd Highest ‘Rona Rate
- Beverly Hills Votes To Resume Plastic Surgery Despite Coronavirus Pandemic