When "mom's the boss": Control over domestic decision making reduces women's interest in workplace power
Author(s): Melissa Williams, Serena Chen
Abstract: Although men are typically considered to have more power than women, women are more likely than men to be primary decision makers in the household domain. We argue that the portrayal of women’s traditional role as representing a form of power, albeit limited in scope, is widespread in popular culture, and that this power is perceived as desirable and providing a subjective sense of control (Study 1). Yet power over household decision making may also function to reduce women’s objections to a status quo in which they have less power overall, outside their traditional role. Two experiments (Studies 2 and 3) showed that power over household decisions (but not mere domestic tasks) reduced women’s interest in achieving power in the workplace. Men’s interest in workplace power, on the other hand, was unaffected by the degree to which they wielded power at home.
Publication Title: Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, Vol.17(4)
Pub Year: 2014
Pages: 436 – 452
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1368430213497065
Keywords: power, gender, stereotypes

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