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Meet The New Boss…same As The Old Boss? Female Supervisors And Subordinate Career Prospects.

David J. Maume
Published 2011 · Psychology, Medicine

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Whereas prior research has focused on women's access to managerial authority, an equally important question is the effect on subordinates' careers when they report to a female boss. One line of thought suggests that female bosses act as change agents by fostering the careers of female subordinates, whereas the cog in the machine perspective suggests that female bosses either willingly or are constrained to promote men's careers. Using data from the 2002 National Study of the Changing Workforce, analytic models of subordinates' perceived job-related support from supervisors and advancement prospects were developed. Results were consistent with the cog in the machine perspective in that in contrast to women, men received more job-related support and were more optimistic about their careers when they reported to a female supervisor. Yet, given the paucity of research on this topic, more research (especially longitudinal studies) is needed to fully understand how supervisors affect subordinates' careers.
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