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Crystal Farh

Research Findings

Token women’s voices in male-dominated teams

September 17, 2020

When there is a token female in a team of all males, does she speak up with suggestions and concerns related to the team task? And if she does, when are her ideas acted upon by the team and does this matter for team performance?

In our paper, we propose that it really depends on the leader’s gender beliefs and the nature of the task. When the team leader holds more positive beliefs about the capabilities of women, they are more likely to signal to the team that the token females’ ideas are worthy of consideration. This counteracts negative evaluations associated with tokenism and gender stereotypes, and at the same time, bolsters the likelihood her ideas will be attended to, processed, and enacted by the team. 

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