Gender Stereotypes in Organizations

Research shows that men and women face stereotyped-based biases in organizations. They are seen differently with men being seen as more agentic and work-oriented than women and women being seen as more communal and focused on relationships than men, and they are also expected to comply with these stereotypic views.

Applying experimental research designs, the Focus Group on Gender Stereotypes in Organizations focused on the interface between emotion expressions and gender stereotypes. As emotion expressions likewise communicate social information about the emotion expresser, we examined how gender stereotypes and emotion expressions jointly form impressions about the emotion-expressing individuals, particularly focusing on the context of leadership in organizations.

First results show, for example, that when they express pride in achievement situations, women are no longer seen as less agentic and more communal than men, and consequently no longer less effective in leadership roles than men, although these stereotypic views are evident when women and men express happiness. Thus, results suggest that the expression of pride in one’s achievements can ameliorate the effects of gender-based stereotypes on women’s career prospects.

Prof. Madeline E. Heilman is Professor of Psychology at the Department of Psychology of the New York University. She holded a TUM-IAS Anna Boyksen Fellowship, contributed to the Liesel Beckman Symposium on Gender in Organizations in 2014 and was further nominated as TUM Ambassador in 2015.

Prof. Isabell M. Welpe is the TUM-host of Prof. Madeline E. Heilman and holds the Chair for Strategy and Organization at the TUM School of Management. Since 2014, she also is the Academic Director of the Bavarian State Institute for Higher Education Research and Planning.

Prof. Matthias Spörrle is Professor of Organizational Psychology at the Private University Seeburg Castle (USC), Austria and University of Applied Management (UAM), Germany.

Dr. Prisca Brosi is postdoc at the Chair for Strategy and Organization.

Publications by the Focus Group


  • Brosi, Prisca; Spoerrle, Matthias; Welpe, Isabell Melanie; Heilman, Madeline E.: "Willing to Lead, Not Willing to Follow: Gender-Specific Inferences from Pride Expressions". Academy of Management Proceedings 2016 (1), 2016, 11982 mehr…
  • Brosi, Prisca; Spörrle, Matthias; Welpe, Isabell M.; Heilman, Madeline E.: Expressing pride: Effects on perceived agency, communality, and stereotype-based gender disparities. Journal of Applied Psychology 101 (9), 2016, 1319-1328 mehr…