My knowledge and experience: As a graduate student I specialized in social psychology, specifically individual differences. Kay Deaux and Alice Eagly educated me on gender issues. As a consultant and as a manager, I saw inequities in the workplace, in perceptions. As a psychological researcher, in 1989 (with J. Farrell) I conducted a meta-analysis of all published field and laboratory studies and found it made no difference to the bottom-line whether the leader was a woman or man (effect size .02 for those interested). As a management scholar, in 1999 I co-chaired (with Sharon Livesey) a symposium related to gender issues at a meeting of the Academy of Management. As a father and a father-in-law, I have taken great pride in my daughter and my daughter-in-law as they have navigated these issues. With this background, I found little new in Lean In – except a powerful and clear voice for continued change – for both women and men. And I applaud Sandberg for her well-documented use of academic studies. (Pick your favorite management book and look for the footnotes.)
In February of this year, I blogged about the lens of masculinity-femininity through which we see the world. That blog is here. The issues addressed by Sandberg begin with attitudes often developed early in life and reinforced throughout. As a professor of management, I see the socialization we provide in management higher education, in and out of the classroom, as an important step toward a more pluralistic workplace. Excerpts from my contribution to the 1999 symposium follow:
Worldwide men dominate positions of management. Across national cultures most men, and some women, perceive requisite characteristics for management as characteristics more common to men than women (Schein, 1994; Norris & Wylie, 1995). For decades both men and women in the United States saw the managerial role as masculine (Schein,1973,1975). . . Norris & Wylie (1995) confirmed that most women no longer sex type the management role, but men still do. According to Schein (1994), “male sex typing of the managerial job is strong, consistent and pervasive and appears to be a global phenomenon among males” (p. 50).
Thus far implications of the male gender culture of management and business have had no major impact on management or business thought. Hearn (1994) wrote: “While management, and particularly top management, remains dominated by men, this fact continues to avoid critical attention in most of the research on management . . . It is truly amazing how men’s domination of management has not become a serious concern in management theory and management thought.” (p.192, 195)
With Lean In Sheryl Sandberg sheds light on this concern – or lack thereof.
Ballard, J. A. (1999, August). Men, gender culture, and management: Implications for management education and the classroom. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, Chicago, IL. (Co-chair, Symposium, The Gendered Classroom: Implications for Pluralistic Management Education.)
Ballard, J. A., & Farrell, J. A. (1989, August). Group performance and sex of the leader: A meta-analysis. Paper presented at the 97th annual convention of the American Psychological Association, New Orleans, LA.
Hearn, J. (1994). Changing men and changing management: Social change, social research and social action. In M. J. Davidson & R. J. Burke (Eds.), Women in management: Current research issues (192-209). London: Paul Chapman.
Norris, J. M., & Wylie, A. M. (1995). Gender stereotyping of the managerial role among students in Canada and the United States. Group & Organization Management, 20, 167-182.
Schein, V. E. (1994). Managerial sex typing: A persistent and pervasive barrier to women’s opportunities. In M. J. Davidson & R. J. Burke (Eds.), Women in management: Current research issues (41-52). London: Paul Chapman.
Schein, V. (1975). Relationships between sex role stereotypes and requisite management characteristics among female managers. Journal of Applied Psychology, 60, 340-344.
Schein, V. (1973). The relationship between sex role stereotypes and requisite management characteristics. Journal of Applied Psychology, 57, 95-100.
Image of Sandberg by Sit with Me. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sitwithme/6483000639/sizes/n/in/photostream/