Womwn Forward Fundation

Dec 6, 2021

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    "Men's views on equality in Spanish companies".

    Men still show gender stereotypes in managerial roles held by women

    The Woman Forward Foundation, in collaboration with the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, has carried out a study on "Men's vision of equality in Spanish companies".

    The main objective of this research was to analyse the perceptions and attitudes of male managers towards women in senior management and corporate governance bodies.

    The research was carried out among male managers and board members in various sectors, where the sample of male respondents focused on ages 45 - 54 years, and taking into account 15 - 20 years of work experience, including higher education.

    The presentation of the research took place on 27 October at the headquarters of the Comillas Pontifical University, with the participation of Morten Huse BI Professor from Norway and President of the scientific committee of the Foundation; the President of Woman Forward Mirian Izquierdo Barriuso, CEO and founder YUKTIK.com; Paloma Bilbao Calabuig Vice-Rector for Academics, Innovation and Internationalisation and Eugenia Fabra Florit, Professor, for the Comillas Pontifical University ICADE.

    The outcome of this research contributes to the refinement of strategies and policies aimed at reducing the gender gap, enriching knowledge about psychological processes

    of gender-typed attitudes, putting the focus on men as central actors of potential change and reconciling the macro and micro level in the design of gender policies, whose lack of coordination is producing effects opposite to those intended, provoking a backlash among many male actors.

    The research therefore analyses the perceptions and attitudes of male managers in relation to women in management, its main aim being to help create a more equitable and egalitarian society and more competitive companies. In short, a more sustainable society.

    The central results are grouped around several concepts, among which we highlight the following:

    Firstly, men continue to perceive that the managerial roles performed in organisations are gender stereotyped. Gender stereotypes are barriers to women's professional development.

    In fact, for the managers surveyed, there are two types of roles, one associated with stereotypically masculine functions and related to strategic decision-making, finding solutions that help the company's objectives, better knowledge of the market and its members, and the other associated with stereotypically feminine functions such as actions to improve transparency or support for social justice.

    Secondly, male managers are agents of change in society for gender equality because they perceive themselves in this way. These men develop positive attitudes towards women at work, regardless of the position they hold or the managerial role they play.

    However, the research reveals that men who value women in stereotypically feminine managerial roles do not necessarily develop a positive attitude towards women. These are men who believe in society's gender stereotypes and transfer them to management, but do not value this congruence in women. Therefore, they are men who, regardless of the role played by women managers and the stereotypes, simply do not value women managers. However, the research reveals that men who value women in stereotypically feminine managerial roles do not necessarily develop a positive attitude towards women. These are men who believe in society's gender stereotypes and transfer them to management, but do not value this congruence in women. Therefore, they are men who, regardless of the role played by women managers and the stereotypes, simply do not value women managers.

    The third finding is about men who value women in "feminine" managerial roles. This difference suggests that male managers are getting closer to becoming agents of change. In this sense, the bias is perceived less in multinational companies than in Spanish companies.

    Based on these research results, it becomes clear that only by making changes in the requirements for managerial roles that bring about a greater congruence between society and the workplace will it be possible to motivate company staff as a whole, making it possible to promote a real and effective vision of equality in managerial positions in companies, centred on men as the main actors of change.

    These changes include the implementation of policies aimed at promoting women's equality in the company and in management positions, such as equality plans that are carried out with the motivation of creating value in organisations and not only to comply with a legal requirement, and changes in the approach to leadership models, with the search for male leaders willing to act as role models in this change.

    Finally, it identifies the need for further research on the existence of structural gender stereotypes in companies and the effect of changes in legislative measures and positive affirmation measures, so far focused on women.

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