Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer


Vol. 40 No. 1 (2021): Advancing Women in Leadership

Students' Perceptions of Women in Management: 1988-2018

December 22, 2019


Replicates a study completed 30-years before regarding college students' perceptions of women in management. Questions include descriptions on semantic differential scales of male/female managers, personal preferences for a boss, and estimates on when management equality would be achieved by women. Factor analysis in 2018 defined the same three factors as in 1988. Male managers' factor scores are higher on "Managerial Behavior," female managers higher on "Consideration," and no significant difference for "Initiation of Structure" in both studies. When asked the preferred boss of a mixed-gender group, women are more likely to select a man, although this preference has decreased. There was a significant increase for females to choose a woman manager as their personal boss preference. Results indicate little change in the stereotypical description of a woman manager, and that current female students have the "Think manager - Think male" attitude. There is also the perception that in the population at-large, it is not yet acceptable for women to pursue a managerial career when married with children. However, men have significantly increased their personal acceptance of career women.

Keywords: woman in management, college student, perception of managers