Posted by: laurenboudreau26 | September 27, 2012

How We Judge the Mistakes

I decided to do a little of my own current event searching this afternoon and came across a very interesting article in the Washington Post from 3 days ago. It’s titled “How we judge the mistakes of male vs. female leaders”. I think we may have briefly talked about this article in class on Tuesday, but I wanted to discuss it a little further. The title itself caught my eye because it got me thinking about the different ways mistakes can be judged and how they typically differ depending on gender. The article opens with this statement, “We’ve all heard the gender stereotypes: Women leaders in the workforce are judged unfairly when they do something emotional like lose their temper, while men are more often given a free pass for yelling at the people who work for them.”–is this true? I honestly agree with it because men are more often then not given the opportunity to yell/lose their temper without feeling guilty. That is just not okay in my opinion. It isn’t always the case, but I am sure we can all think of instances where that has been the case. I can’t say I immediately thought it was “wrong” at the time simply because I was blind-sided by gender roles in society. I am not saying it should be okay for women to go around yelling and losing their tempers and not get reprimanded for it, but men should not have the mentality that this type of behavior is tolerable in society. 

THIS article discusses a STUDY that was recently published in the Journal of Business and Psychology. The study examined how gender effects perceptions of both male and female leader errors based on the occupational context and also the type of error-either “task-related” or “relationship”. I will be completely honest, I definitely gender-stereotyped the two possible errors before reading further into the article. I associated majority of the task-related errors to men and the relationship errors to women. There was also a control group that had no mistakes. Surprisingly, the results were very different from the predictions. Men and women were basically the same when it came to who is more competent. The article also talks about several other gender-stereotype examples such as women being expected to excel in organizational skills. Aside from the gender stereotypes..I specifically like how this focuses on leaders mistakes. In most of the discussions we have had in class or read outside of class the author talks about leader success whether it be in the workforce, at home, or life in general. I would like to see further research in how men and women make mistakes and also how they handle these mistakes with followers or employees.

Please note the last sentence in the article, “And while on some level, it’s encouraging to see that women aren’t getting more harshly judged for being emotional or not relating well with people, the underlying story here is that gender bias is still very much alive.” Basically, even thought the results from the study don’t show a major gender bias it still exists in society today. 

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