When fit is fundamental: Performance evaluations and promotions of upper-level female and male managers

Karen S. Lyness, Madeline E. Heilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using archival organizational data, the authors examined relationships of gender and type of position (i.e., line or staff) to performance evaluations of 448 upper-level managers, and relationships of performance evaluations to promotions during the subsequent 2 years. Consistent with the idea that there is a greater perceived lack of fit between stereotypical attributes of women and requirements of line jobs than staff jobs, women in line jobs received lower performance ratings than women in staff jobs or men in either line or staff jobs. Moreover, promoted women had received higher performance ratings than promoted men and performance ratings were more strongly related to promotions for women than men, suggesting that women were held to stricter standards for promotion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)777-785
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Gender bias
  • Gender stereotypes
  • Glass ceiling
  • Performance appraisal
  • Promotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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