Be an advocate for others, unless you are a man: Backlash against gender-atypical male job candidates

Janine Bosak, Clara Kulich, Laurie Rudman, Mary Kinahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research shows that gender vanguards (individuals who demonstrate gender-atypical skills and behavior) suffer backlash in the form of social and economic penalties (Rudman & Phelan, 2008). This study examined backlash against female and male job applicants who were either gender-atypical or typical. Professionals (N =149) evaluated female or male managerial applicants for internal promotion described in their performance review as showing either self-advocacy or advocacy on behalf of their team. Atypical, other-advocating men were judged to be low on agency and competence and penalized with job dismissal. Serial mediation analysis demonstrated that, compared with other-advocating women, other-advocating men were perceived to lack agency, which contributed to a perceived loss of competence that ultimately led to greater penalties. The implications of these findings for contemporary leadership theories and men's and women's professional success in the workplace are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-165
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology of Men and Masculinity
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Keywords

  • Advocacy
  • Backlash
  • Gender discrimination
  • Gender roles
  • Hiring

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