Women who have stereotypically “masculine” traits like, oh, self-confidence, but know how to act feminine when needed, get more promotions than both men and other women, a new study reports.
The study followed 132 business school graduates when they first started b-school, then checked in on them again eight years later. Turns out that the “masculine” women who were good at “self-monitoring, or [the ability] to accurately assess social situations and project appropriate responses,” received 3 times as many promotions as women who were poor self-monitors, and assertive women who were good self-monitors received 1.5 times as many promotions as “feminine” women. They also received twice as many promotions as “feminine” men. Self-monitoring ability didn’t have any effect on the number of promotions men got.
According to ABC news, “self-monitoring is especially important for women because they face a double edged sword with gender stereotypes and workplace success. Women often have to display characteristics that are ‘masculine’ which can be associated with competence, but risk losing ‘likeability’ if they behave against gender stereotyping.”