A Social Psychological Perspective
← 240 | 241 → EPILOGUE
The aim of this book was to shed light on the question of why there is no gender equality at the workplace, also taking into account that the secondary and postsecondary education of women is equal to that of men. More specifically, our goal was to analyze the factors and mechanisms that lead to women’s discrimination regarding their careers.
Together, the two parts of this volume cover the major aspects and approaches of research in this area from the point of view of social psychology and communication. We concluded Part I with the metaphor of a “hurdles woman,” a struggle in which a woman has to jump many hurdles to succeed. To reiterate, gender stereotypes play a chief role among the hurdles that impede women’s success in counterstereotypic tasks or jobs (including leadership positions): Parents, teachers, and peers expect different behavior from girls than from boys. As one consequence, they will explain girls’ and boys’ successes differently (e.g., as evidence of talent vs. effort). Additionally, girls’ and boys’ self-concepts of ability tend to be tainted by these stereotypes. For example, due to gender stereotypes, boys are more likely to come to believe in their math talent than girls, given equal individual talent. The stereotype-threat phenomenon shows that stereotypes may become what is known as ← 241 | 242 → “self-fulfilling prophecies”: Because a stereotype exists, respective differences in performance will occur.
There are two further insidious aspects of such gender stereotypes. First, there is an implicit, automatized component to...
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