American researchers have found that women who displayed 'masculine qualities' were more likely to get hired in male-dominated fields.
In a laboratory experiment by Michigan State University scholars, women who described themselves using masculine-like traits (assertive, independent, achievement oriented) were evaluated as more fitting for the job than those who emphasized female-like traits (warmth, supportiveness, nurturing).
The findings refute the idea that women who emphasize counter-stereotypical traits might face a backlash for not conforming to expected gender roles. When hiring for a leadership position in a male-dominated field such as engineering, decision makers generally looked for take-charge candidates regardless of gender.
The study is published online in Psychology of Women Quarterly.