Introduction. Research on stereotypes and stereotyping (Acker, 1990; Bergeron, Block & Echtenkamp, 2006; Carton and Rosette, 2011; Heilman, 2012) has so far shown that female leaders, in particular, can experience increased threat when attempting leadership positions in organizations.
Aim of the study. In this article, I explore the many ways in which stereotypes can undermine women performance in leadership and I discuss the factors that may help women become less vulnerable when faced with negative stereotyping. These factors are analyzed at various levels – the individual, the organizational and the situational/contextual levels. In the end, I suggest some ways designed to increase women’s belief in their leadership abilities as well as some interventions meant to determine organizations to become “aware” of their unconscious biases when evaluating women job positions and performance.
Keywords: negative stereotyping, stereotype threat, vulnerability, reactance, growth mindset
JEL Classification: M10, M20