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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Dr Ana Leite

Randsley de Moura, G., Leicht, C., Leite, A. C., Crisp, R. J. & Gocłowska, M. A. (2018). Leadership Diversity: Effects of Counterstereotypical Thinking on the Support for Women Leaders under Uncertainty. Journal of Social Issues 74(1): 165-183.

Author(s) from Durham


Despite societal shifts, women are still underrepresented in leadership positions. Previous research has found that women are often placed in risky and precarious leadership positions. This is likely to be the case when the context (economic, social, political) is uncertain. This article investigates (1) the support given to women leaders with leadership styles that are congruent or not with gender stereotypes, under uncertainty (Study 1) and (2) the role of counterstereotypical thinking in strengthening the support for women leaders who are role congruent (vs. incongruent) under uncertainty (Study 2). Study 1 found a preference for strong, role incongruent women leaders in times of uncertainty (vs. certainty). Study 2 found that this preference can be attenuated and role congruent women leaders perceived as more effective following a counterstereotypical thinking intervention that challenge participants’ social cognitive processing styles. We discuss applied implications regarding how to effectively promote diversity in leadership.