Senior-Level Leader's Attitudes Towards Obesity

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Senior-level leader's attitudes towards obesity





Relationship of Managerial Experience to Gender and Attractiveness Biases2

Bias Research on Gender2

Theoretical Models of Gender Bias3

Leadership, Status, and Gender Bias4

Leadership and Masculinity4

Gender-Role Congruity4

Biases Based on Sexual Orientation and Familiarity5

Selection and Hiring Process6

The Ideal Candidate Versus the Hired Candidate8

Choosing the Right Manager8

Stereotyping in Leadership Positions in Organizations9

Stereotypes Associated with Leadership9

Prescriptive and Descriptive Gender Stereotypes11

Factors Restricting Women in Leadership16

Height and Leadership18

Height in the Leader Prototype18

Weight bias in the workplace; Obesity and employment opportunities21

Obesity affects job employment for women25

Bias against overweight leaders32

Experience of obese employees perceived inequities by leader stereotypes38

Obesity and Management: Managing Obesity43





Historically, women have not been recognized as being strong and competent leaders, although there have been a number of women in leadership positions who have left a valuable and lasting contribution to society (Adams, Gupta, Haughton, & Leeth, 2008). Bias, prejudice, and stereotyping have existed since biblical times and may or may not be a factor in why some women in leadership are successful and others are not. The purpose of the current qualitative study was to obtain a better understanding of the drivers or restrainers that have affected female progression into executive positions.

Even with new leadership opportunities surfacing, a significant difference in the perception of the female leader appears to exist between men and women. Men have adopted more positive perceptions of other male leaders than of female leaders. The difference in perception is based on a gender stereotype (Agerstrom, & Rooth, 2009).

Gender stereotyping is the belief that a specific set of traits and abilities are more likely to found in one gender than in the other (Bass, Avolio, & Atwater, 2008). The male CEOs tended to cite females' lack of experience as a reason for the dearth of female CEOs (Buchan, Croson, & Solnick, 2008). According to Catalyst (, women held only 11% of board seats at Fortune 1000 companies. Women executives tended to discount experience as a factor and attach far more importance to “inhospitable and exclusionary” (Cook, Smallman, 2008) social attitudes and patterns.

Relationship of Managerial Experience to Gender and Attractiveness Biases

Bias Research on Gender

Gender bias is pervasive in our society based on expectations of people and occupations based on gender roles. Scenarios altering the gender of the subject or author are commonly used to examine bias against women in between-participant designs (Dovidio, Kawakami, Smoak, Gaertner, 2008). Eagly & Koenig, (2008) using the Goldberg paradigm found that greater hostility was reported towards female professors compared to male professors when discussing inequality.

Gender of the participants had inconsistent results in moderating bias in evaluating women (Greenwald, Poehlman, Uhlmann, Banaji, 2009). Healey (2009) found students rated male and female professors based on culturally conditioned stereotyped expectations. Female professors were rated lower because general stereotypes of women are incongruent with stereotypes of professors.

Heilman, & Haynes, (2008) had students read a sex discrimination lecture attributed to either a male or female professor. Regardless of the students' sex, female professors were rated less positively and more sexist than ...
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