Thursday, December 20, 2007

Female bosses evaluated as ‘office moms’

Female bosses are expected to play "office moms," while male bosses are held to a lower emotional standard, a new study finds.

As many know, workplace dynamics can eerily resemble those of a family. New research shows that female managers' skill at accurately read others' emotions impacts whether they get "gold stars" from subordinates.

The same isn't true for men. Employees don't evaluate male managers on their ability to read facial expressions or sense tones of voice. "It seems female managers may be expected to be sensitive to others' emotions and to demonstrate this sensitivity by providing emotional support," said researcher Kristin Byron of the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University in New York.

She added, "Because of this, female managers' job performance is judged on them being understanding, kind, supportive and sensitive."

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