Gender, Leadership, Stereotype, Career socialization, Sex discrimination


Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations


Competent women should aspire to leadership, but they may choose not to. We asked men and women at seven U.S. universities if competence, negatives of leadership, and experience affect their aspirations to leadership. Surprisingly, competent women with more work experience are less likely to aspire to leadership than men, while competent women with less work experience are more likely to aspire to leadership than men. The more women associate leadership with negative aspects, the less they aspire to leadership, compared with men. For both, the less competent they think they are to be leaders, the less they want to be leaders.

Original Citation

Sánchez, C. M., & Lehnert, K. (2019). The unbearable heaviness of leadership: The effects of competency, negatives, and experience on women’s aspirations to leadership. Journal of Business Research, 95(C), 182–194.