t post

Yes! Because if you smile, you can't be a leader...

Want to make a career? Stop smiling!

2021 May 11 | by Arduino Mancini Diversity - Heuristics and biases - Leadership

No, if you are a woman you can’t be a leader!

You don’t believe that? This article will change your mind.

Researchers at the Technische Universitaet in Munich conducted a study (started in January 2011 and concluded in 2014) entitled “Selection and Assessment of Leaders in Business and Academia“, aimed at examining how leaders in business and academia are selected and valued in Germany.

Participants in the study were presented with several scenarios within which potential leaders and their staff would be expected to work, and were asked about their expectations for leader performance in a specific scenario.

Here are some of the trends that emerged:

  • stereotypes persist in our heads that play a determining role in evaluating successful people. Men are typically viewed as assertive, dominant and tough, while women are seen as mediation-inclined, friendly and socializing;
  • if men and women behave in exactly the same way the evaluation is different, higher for men. For example, women who have a tendency not to delegate are evaluated worse than men who show the same behaviour;
  • women are perceived as more willing to lead if they show they are proud of their performance;
  • to be viewed as leaders, women must exhibit skills in negotiation, network building, and career planning;
  • if they communicate cheerfulness, women are considered less available for leadership roles than men who display comparable emotions;
  • women expect men to have greater expertise in leadership management.

What can we learn from this study?

First of all, that stereotypes and prejudices still represent a difficult adversary to defeat, especially because they are invisible and able to act against us without us being aware of it.

Also, women are considered less suited to leadership and seem to have more obstacles to overcome and skills to prove (even to other women…) than men.

Finally, it seems that leadership is something only for sad, meddlesome people: we want the manly, scowling leader, ready for confrontation and fight in case of danger.

In conclusion,

if you’re a woman and want to make a career,
stop smiling and get around flaunting how competent you are.

And then we’ll consider you.


What do you think?

(No Ratings Yet)
Leave your comment now! (* mandatory)

Name *
E-mail *
Your comment *