Seminar  |  02/17/2020, 12:00 PM

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Seminar: Are Women Less Effective Leaders Than Men?

Lea Heursen (HU Berlin)

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich, Room 313

Despite increasing gender equality across many domains women remain underrepresented in leading positions. In two experiments, we study whether one reason for this gender gap may be that women are less effective in eliciting coordinated support from followers. Both experiments use coordination games, in which a leader must convince followers to select a particular equilibrium. Our first experiment employs a widely used paradigm to study leader effectiveness, the minimum-effort coordination game, while the second uses a novel game to more directly compare the strength of requests from male versus female leaders. While we find, using explicit and implicit attitude measures, that our participants possess stereotypical associations between gender and leadership, we find no evidence that such bias impacts actual leadership performance. We show that this absence of an effect is surprising, relative to the priors of expert researchers (joint work with Eva Ranehill and Roberto Weber).

Contact Person: Dr. Marina Chugunova