Despite the passage of the Equal Pay Act more than 40 years ago, there remains a persistent gender gap in both representation and pay (Catalyst, 2010; National Committee on Pay Equity, 2007). In this talk, I present evidence suggesting that gender stereotyping processes contribute to lingering organizational inequalities between men and women. My research demonstrates that women encounter backlash (i.e., social and economic penalties) when they violate gender stereotypes by behaving ambitiously, even though this behavior is necessary for career success (Phelan, Moss-Racusin & Rudman, 2008). There is a double standard such that men competing for leadership roles are expected to self-promote (Moss-Racusin, Phelan & Rudman, 2010), whereas women who do so suffer penalties. Considerable research has focused on perceivers’ reactions to atypical women and men. My research investigates the actors’ side of the equation by developing and testing the backlash avoidance model (BAM), a new model designed to investigate the processes responsible for undermining women’s self-promotion success. Results provide the first demonstration of gender differences benefiting men in self-promotion behavior, and show that these differences stem from women’s (accurate) fear of backlash for this stereotype-violating behavior (Moss-Racusin & Rudman, 2010). Furthermore, I find evidence for prejudice against men who violate gender stereotypes. Specifically, men are disliked relative to identical women when they behave modestly during a job interview, to the detriment of their career prospects (Moss-Racusin, Phelan & Rudman, 2010).
Dr. Corinne A. Moss-Racusin studied Psychology as an undergraduate at New York University, before working as a research assistant at the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity and earning her Ph.D in Social Psychology from Rutgers University. Dr. Moss-Racusin’s primary research interests include stereotyping processes and discrimination, gender roles, and implicit social cognition. More specifically, she is interested in the ways in which stereotypes shape behavior and self-regulation, and how these in turn impact intergroup relations and gender equity within institutions. To this end, she maintains research lines centered around: 1) the professional consequences of perceived stereotype violations for both women and men; 2) understanding women’s self-promotion difficulties; and 3) the ways in which automatic attitudes about prejudice relate to hiring decisions (particularly for diverse applicants).
For more information about the Hofstra Psychology Colloquium, please contact Vincent Brown at Vincent.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Psychology Colloquium website http://people.hofstra.edu/Faculty/Vincent_R_Brown/Colloquium.html