Introduction. All over the European Union companies face the same problem: a dramatic gender gap in leadership. Men far outnumber women in senior business positions in developed and less developed countries, including Romania. What makes leadership positions so inaccessible to Romanian women? Senior women leaders in Western Europe mentioned stereotyping as an important barrier to consider.
Aim of the study. To demonstrate that stereotyping is indeed a factor in the leadership gender gap, it was first necessary to substantiate that stereotype-based perceptions of women’s leadership do in fact exist in Romania. In the second part of this research, perceived existing differences between men and women leaders were scrutinized and compared to their standardized profiles as indicated by the Hogan Assessment Systems, both at the organizational and individual levels. Whether women stereotyping was found to be relatively low in Romania, differences in personality traits between men and women seem to impede women from advancing to the top management positions. It also explains the emergence of a diversity of leadership styles.
Keywords: gender gap, leadership, gender roles, personality assessment
JEL Classification: M10, M20, L290.