Exploring the effect of media images on women’s leadership self-perceptions and aspirations

Title: Exploring the effect of media images on women’s leadership self-perceptions and aspirations

Year: 2013

Journal / Publication: Group Processes & Intergroup Relations

Volume: 16

Issue: 2

Pages: 232 – 245

Authors:

Simon, Stefanie

Hoyt, Crystal L.

Abstract:

Across two experimental studies, the present research explores how media images depicting counterstereotypical roles for women, compared to those that depict stereotypical roles for women, affect women’s gender role beliefs (Study 1) and responses to a leadership situation (Study 2). Study 1 predicted and found that women exposed to images depicting counterstereotypical roles subsequently reported stronger nontraditional gender role beliefs than women exposed to images depicting stereotypical roles. Study 2 then directly assessed the effect of media images of women on female participants’ self-reported responses following a leadership task. Women exposed to media images of women in counterstereotypical roles reported less negative self-perceptions and greater leadership aspirations than women exposed to images of women in stereotypical roles. Moreover, negative self-perceptions mediated the relationship between media images and leadership aspirations. Implications for increasing women’s representation in the leadership domain are discussed.

Link: http://gpi.sagepub.com/content/16/2/232.abstract

Keywords:

Leadership

Women

Media Images

Gender Roles

Gender Stereotypes