Prior research has shown that women report mostly negative expectations about being a gender-token in male-dominated work groups. We speculate that this is partially caused by the socially-ascribed status devaluation of women. In the present study we investigated the degree to which elevated social status may lessen negative expectations of gender-token women assigned to leadership positions. Sixty-three undergraduate women participated in one of three tokenism conditions: 1) nontoken, 2) gender-token, and 3) high-status gender-token. In all conditions participants were led to believe that they would be leading a group of men in a decision-making exercise. Leader expectations were then assessed. The results suggest that increased social status may help prevent gender-token women from developing negative expectations about interactions with male-dominated work groups.
This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. The final publication is available at www.springerlink.com. Copyright restrictions may apply. DOI: 10.1023/B:SERS.0000018894.96308.52
McDonald, Theodore W.; Toussaint, Loren L.; and Schweiger, Jennifer A.. (2004). "The Influence of Social Status on Token Women Leaders’ Expectations about Leading Male-Dominated Groups". Sex Roles, 50(5-6), 401-409.