It is often expected that the first women to advance in male-dominated fields
will promote other women who follow them. Two studies test the hypothesis
that some women show this expected pattern of promoting women but that
others show the opposite pattern, favoring men over women. In two studies,
women’s gender identification moderated the extent to which they favored
men over women when they advanced in a male-dominated field.
Specifically, the weaker women’s gender identification, the more favoritism
they showed for a male relative to a female subordinate. Gender identification
did not moderate women’s behavior in a context in which women were not
underrepresented, pointing to the power of the situation in eliciting this relationship. Implications for the advancement of women in male-dominated
fields are discussed.
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