Alice Eagly: Gender stereotypes have changed but the changes are surprising

Reports on a seminar organized by Middlesex's Gender & Diversity cluster

[Guest post by CYGNA member Dr Bianca Stumbitz. In this post Bianca reports on a seminar she organized on behalf of Middlesex University's Gender & Diversity cluster.]

In October 2019, we were delighted to host Alice Eagley. Her academic career has already spanned six decades and with more than a dozen publications in the last 2 years she shows no signs of slowing down. Hence we were over the moon when she agreed to visit us at Middlesex University. Reflecting the broad scope of her topic, Alice's presentation [handout of slides can be downloaded here] about gender stereotypes drew a large audience from across Middlesex University, the CYGNA network and other universities in the London area.


Given women’s large-scale entry into paid labor and their growing educational advantage over men as well as men’s increasing domestic labor, a plausible prediction is that the classic gender stereotypes of female communion and male agency are moving toward androgyny. However, a meta-analysis that integrated 16 nationally representative U.S. opinion polls on gender stereotypes extending from 1946 to 2018 found quite different results. Interpretation of these findings emphasizes the origins of gender stereotypes in the social roles of women and men. Discussion will consider implications for gender equality and, in particular, for women’s attainment of leadership roles.


Alice Eagly is emerita Professor of Psychology, James Padilla Chair of Arts and Sciences, and Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She is a social psychologist who is well known for her work on gender, attitudes, prejudice, stereotyping, leadership, and feminism. Her publications include the books, Psychology of Attitudes, written with Shelly Chaiken, and Through the Labyrinth: The Truth About How Women Become Leaders, written with Linda Carli. Her work has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, the Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Science of Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation, and the Eminent Leadership Scholar Award from the Academy of Management.

Middlesex University Gender & Diversity Research Cluster

The Gender & Diversity Research Cluster [four cluster members are shown above with Alice Eagley] provides a supportive and inclusive environment for people to produce critical management research, develop teaching practice, and generate professional engagement activities, focusing on gender and diversity in the workplace. The research cluster is led by Dr Bianca Stumbitz, and its interdisciplinary membership includes staff from the Department of Management of Management, Leadership and Organisations (MLO), the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research (CEEDR), Accounting & Finance, Media and Psychology. Its research is grouped within four main themes: Gender Equality; Workforce Diversity (including gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, and religion); Work-Life Balance; and Maternity Protection at Work (including research in developing countries).

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