The impact of role models on women's self-selection in competitive environments


Ruenzi, Stefan ; Niessen-Ruenzi, Alexandra ; Meier, Kristina


Document Type: Conference presentation
Year of publication: 2018
Conference title: 11th Maastricht Behavioral and Experimental Economics Symposium
Location of the conference venue: Masstricht, The Netherlands
Date of the conference: 04.-05.06.2018
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > Internat. Finanzierung (Ruenzi)
Business School > ABWL u. Corporate Governance (Niessen-Ruenzi 2012-)
Subject: 330 Economics
Abstract: We show that female role models increase women's willingness to compete. As in Niederle and Vesterlund (2007), we find that women are less willing to enter a tournament than men, although there are no gender differences in performance. However, the gender gap in tournament entry disappears if subjects are exposed to a competitive female role model. Results are stronger for the best performing women who seem to be particularly encouraged by female role models. Female role models also mitigate gender stereotype threats and lead to higher self-confidence among women. By contrast, we find that competitive male role models seem to intimidate female subjects and increase the gender gap in tournament entry even further. Our results have implications for the socio-political debate on how the fraction of women in top management positions can be increased.




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Ruenzi, Stefan ORCID: 0000-0002-6492-1701 ; Niessen-Ruenzi, Alexandra ORCID: 0000-0002-9493-8280 ; Meier, Kristina The impact of role models on women's self-selection in competitive environments. (2018) 11th Maastricht Behavioral and Experimental Economics Symposium (Masstricht, The Netherlands) [Conference presentation]


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