Women at Work: Pathways from Gender Stereotypes to Gender Bias and Discrimination

Madeline E. Heilman, Suzette Caleo, Francesca Manzi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Despite important advances, gender-based discrimination continues to hin-der women’s career progress. This review examines the role that gender stereotypes play in promoting gender bias and discrimination. After review- ing what is known about the content of gender stereotypes and examining both their descriptive and prescriptive aspects, we discuss two pathways through which stereotypes result in discrepant work outcomes for women and men. First, we consider how the characterization of women as com- munal but not agentic conflicts with the perceived demands of many male gender-typed jobs and fields, thus promoting perceptions of women’s lack of competence in those areas. Second, we consider how norms about how women should and should not behave cause women to incur penalties when they exhibit counter-stereotypical attributes and behaviors at work. Our re- view further focuses on the conditions that foster or undercut gender bias and discrimination and uses this knowledge as a foundation for proposing strategies to promote more egalitarian organizational processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-192
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior
StatePublished - Jan 22 2024


  • gender bias
  • gender norms
  • gender stereotypes
  • lack of fit model
  • workplace discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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