ERIC Number: ED234329
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar-26
Reference Count: 0
Beauty and the Boss: A Mixed Blessing.
Hatcher, Maxine A.; Penner, Louis
Although women continue to obtain full-time jobs at ever increasing rates, they remain dramatically underrepresented at the managerial level. To examine the impact of physical attractiveness and job type (traditional or nontraditional), and the interaction of these two factors on attributions about women's competence, 174 working adults (76 males and 98 females) were presented with a bogus job resume of a high ranking female corporate employee. Attached to each resume was a picture of the woman, previously classified as attractive, unattractive, or average. Job type was also manipulated with the woman shown as director of a male or female oriented company. Subjects responded to attributions for success on job-related characteristics (e.g., ability and experience) and non job-related characteristics (e.g., personality, appearance, affirmative action quotas); rated each women on a series of bipolar adjectives addressing either competence or character; and completed the Woman as Manager Scale (WAMS). Results indicated that males exhibited a generally positive bias toward the attractive stimulus person, while females attributed attractive persons' success to external factors such as appearance or knowing someone in the company. Males' positive attitudes toward women in managerial roles were associated with more favorable attributions. However, women with high WAMS scores made more positive job-related and non job-related attributions for women in traditional jobs and attributed their success to affirmative action programs. The findings suggest the presence of subtle discrimination issues, especially for women who do not match the cultural standard of attractiveness. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Physical Attractiveness
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (29th, Atlanta, GA, March 23-26, 1983).