continue to be underrepresented in politics and other high-ranking
leadership positions in comparison to men. This study explored how
participants perceived the positivity and possibility of their “possible
selves” as persons with power and in three distinct roles
(editor-in-chief of a national women's/men's fashion magazine, chief
executive officer, and important political leader).
The study also examined the extent to which female and male respondents anticipated
relationship problems in connection with these powerful roles. The
researchers predicted that women would describe more reservations with
respect to anticipation of relationship problems and their imagined
possible selves compared to men. The relationship problems were coded by
the researchers. A chi-squared analysis revealed no significant effect
of gender on anticipated relationship problems for any of the specific
roles. However, when women imagined themselves in the person with power
and editor-in-chief positions the results aligned with the predicted
direction, with more women than men anticipating relationship problems.
Another chi-squared analysis showed a significant gender difference in
which roles were listed as most difficult or easy to imagine, with more
men listing the editor-in-chief role as most difficult to imagine, and
more women listing the political leader role as most difficult to
imagine. Multivariate analyses of variance revealed that men were
significantly more likely than women to rate both the political leader
and CEO roles as both more possible for them and more positive.
Post Symposium Discussions