My research focuses on how stereotyping leads to mistreatment and biased perceptions of women, creating challenges in their pursuit of success.
I appreciate multi-method research and combining large-scale field studies with experimental data. Across my projects, I have engaged in quantitative methods including laboratory studies, cross-sectional studies, and field studies. I have also done qualitative work such as interviews and observational analysis. I am interested in applied field settings and field interventions and have worked with data from leadership development programs, top tech accelerators, Fortune 100 organizations, small organizations, and the Space Telescope Science Institute.
Gender in Organizations
Empowering Female Leaders: In the first chapter of my dissertation, I explore empowerment leadership as a female advantage. I hypothesize that empowerment, as a feminized leadership style, becomes a requirement for women. However, female leaders are also scrutinized on their relative empowerment of male and female followers and punished for deviations. The results of a field study of executive-level leaders and an experiment support my hypotheses and demonstrate that women in leadership are required to be empowering, particularly with their female followers.
Attractiveness and Harassment: This project explores the connection between attractiveness and harassment of women in organizations with the use of a multi-method approach that combines qualitative, field, and experimental data. We assert that attractiveness leads to harassment through mechanisms related to biased perceptions of opportunities gained by attractive women. The current manuscript received a reject and resubmit (high-risk R&R) at Organization Science and is being prepared for re-submission in August 2018.
Gender and Entrpreneurship
Gender and New Venture Teams: The second chapter of my dissertation explores gender bias in entrepreneurship by considering how the gender composition of NVTs negatively biases evaluations of new ventures. The first study in this paper uses data from 4,564 companies applying to one of the top technology accelerators. Combined with experimental data, the manuscript makes a compelling argument that new venture teams with more women are seen as less emotionally stable and therefore less viable in entrepreneurship.
Gender and Tech Accelerators: The second project in this area is a longitudinal study conducted with the same technology accelerator from the previous study. The aim of this project is to better understand the experience of NVTs with more women as they move through the accelerator program. In addition to facing biased evaluations, anecdotal evidence suggests that NVTs with more women may have fundamentally different experiences in mentorship and support.
Exploration of Solutions
The third chapter of my dissertation is a theoretical paper that presents blinding as a potential solution to bias in organizations and entrepreneurship. The paper looks at blinding as an alternative to affirmative action programs (AAPs), particularly strong affirmative action programs. While AAPs may be effective in some situations, strong programs are often perceived as unfair and met with resistance from stakeholders. The nature and design of blinding programs may offer a more universally fair solution that can eliminate bias in early selection stages.
Several past and present studies have informed this work. I have an ongoing project with the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) to implement and test blinding procedures in the selection process for the Hubble Space Telescope. A manuscript of this study is under review at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science with my coauthor, Stefanie Johnson. Additionally, we are working on a qualitative study that explores reactions to the implementation of blinding procedures.