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Sex stereotyping managerial positions: A cross-cultural comparison between Egypt and the USA

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to examine how men and women sex stereotype managerial positions and how they view women in managerial roles in Egypt and the USA, in order to provide meaningful cross-cultural comparisons. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The study uses surveys that utilize the Schein descriptive index and the women as managers scale (WAMS) to compare perceptions on women in managerial positions in Egypt and the USA. The sample consists of 553 Egyptian and 324 American management students. Findings ‐ The results show that in the Egyptian sample both males and females held negative views of women managers. However, in the US sample, women held more favourable views of women managers than did their male counterparts. In the Egyptian sample the English section female students had a more positive perception of female managers than their Arabic section counterparts. Research limitations/implications ‐ The sample is limited to management students in Egypt and the USA. The Middle East includes countries with different cultures, such as Israel. About 10 percent of Egypt's population are Christians who do not necessarily share the same cultural beliefs as the country's Muslim majority. Practical implications ‐ The paper helps donor countries better direct their aid programs when it comes to promoting gender equality and championing women's rights in the Middle East. Originality/value ‐ Our contribution was to study the perceptions of female leaders in Egypt, an Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern country. The gender research on countries with conservative cultures, such as Egypt, is an area that remains mostly unexamined. Our study aims to provide researchers and practitioners with a better understanding of the position of Egyptian women in management.
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Keywords: Egypt; Gender stereotypes; Middle East; National culture; Role congruity; Sex stereotypes; United States of America; Women; Women managers

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-03-09

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