assist, then the rating of his work was
not changed from the norm; if a woman refused to assist, her performance
If a man and a woman perform a
male-stereotyped task together, the
majority of people will attribute the
success of that task to the man, unless
˲ the contributions of the woman
are specifically attributed, or
˲ there is information about the way
the task was structured, or
˲ there is some clear example of prior competence by the woman.
There are differences in the communication styles considered acceptable in men and women leaders:
women have a very narrow band of acceptable behaviors. In general, women
are given less time to speak, are more
likely to be interrupted, and if they do
interrupt someone, that is most likely
to be another woman.
43 As a consequence, women are less likely to be
able to hold the floor in meetings: an
important quality in a leader.
Career advancement strategies
that work for men do not always work
for women. When comparing only
women who have not taken career
breaks for family with men, there are
still significant differences in achievement levels.
10 The study on the Myth
of the Ideal Worker says, “Women
benefit most by making their achievements known. Men benefit most by
scanning for external opportunities
and blurring work-life boundaries.
Both benefit by gaining access to powerful others.” The report also says,
“changing jobs accelerated compensation growth for men, but slowed it
for women.” It has been shown that
sponsorship, in which a sponsor actively promotes and takes risks for the
sponsee, is more effective for women
than mentorship, in which the mentor merely gives advice.
There are other career differences
observable between men and women
as well: women are more than 10% less
likely than men to change jobs for a
raise in salary or for a promotion; but
they are almost 10% more likely than
men to change jobs because of a bad
manager (see Figure 5).
9 The numbers
who leave jobs to take care of fam-
ily are very small for both men and
women. In Japan as well, significant-
ly fewer women report they have off-
them, and we are going to work to-
gether to make this happen.” The dif-
ference is engagement.
˲Communities of support: a key
difference between African American
students and Asian students at U. S. colleges turned out to be that the Asian
students would get together, share
their experiences, and study together.
People who feel isolated sometimes refuse help, as they think that it will confirm the stereotype. The African American students did not tend to form study
groups naturally; when these communities were introduced, their performance increased dramatically.
˲Fostering intergroup conversations as learning opportunities. These
conversations are difficult, as people
are afraid of appearing to be biased or
ill informed, so they often steer away
from the situation. Subconsciously,
they pull their chairs further apart.
When a facilitator starts a conversation by saying that tensions are natural, but the conversation should be
treated as a learning experience, that
signals to people that differences can
be learned. People pull their chairs
closer together. This does not happen when the facilitator says the participants will not be judged, nor when
the facilitator says all points of view
Consequences of stereotyping. As
mentioned earlier, there are a number
of other forces that can hinder the ability
of diverse teams to function optimally.
Stereotypes make us feel as though
we have useful information about people’s strengths, weaknesses, and personal characteristics. But they operate
in a more prescriptive way as well: They
shape our expectations of what people
should be doing, especially at work.
Thus, women are expected to be nurturing and collaborative at work, in accord with their stereotyped strengths.
When they deviate from that, they incur penalties. Men are not expected to
be altruistic, but if they are, then they
are given credit for giving assistance.
This was demonstrated in an experimental setting in which a person was
asked for help with a technical task:
men were given an increased performance rating if they gave assistance,
whereas a woman who assisted was
not; her performance rating remained
at the base level. If a man refused to
Most people would
not believe that
yet, these choices
made. In fact,
height is strongly