Gender and leadership aspiration: supervisor gender, support, and job control.
Understanding the role of gender on leadership aspirations is important. Especially when women leaders are underrepresented. Indeed, leadership aspiration is an important predictor of hierarchical advancement. What influence then does one’s own gender and that of one’s supervisor have on leadership aspirations of the individual?
Supervisors can play an important role in providing support and creating a sense of control. And both support and control are precursors to leadership aspirations. Yet supervisors can also act on gender biases that discourage women’s ambition for leadership.
This study argues that there is an interaction between the gender of the supervisor and the gender of the subordinate. Men experience relatively high levels of support and control regardless of supervisor gender. While women only experience more support and control, and as a result exhibit higher leadership aspirations, when they have a female supervisor.
A survey of N = 402 men and women supported these hypotheses.
Applied Psychology: An International Review – edition 69 – 2020