Think Manger - Think Male
Over 40 years ago Dr. Virginia E. Schein brought to our attention the discriminatory effects of gender stereotyping on women’s advancement in management. In 1973 her nationwide corporate study demonstrated that the characteristics, attitudes and temperaments perceived to be necessary for managerial success are viewed as more likely to be held my men than by women. Gender stereotyping negatively affects women’s opportunities for entry and advancement into managerial positions.
Known today as the Think Manager-Think Male phenomenon, her pioneering research laid the foundation for the academic study of women in management. Dr. Schein’s work has been cited by thousands of researchers, many of whom have used her Schein Descriptive Index to investigate gender stereotyping and management. Her research has been replicated across five continents, revealing that Think Manager-Think Male is a global phenomenon.
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Women, Work, and Poverty
A staunch advocate for full participation of all women in the workforce, Dr. Schein led her field in investigating issues of low-income women in the work force. Her 1995 book, Working from the Margins: Voices of Mothers in Poverty, examined the work issues of impoverished single mothers in the context of their personal and life circumstances. This research included a three-point action plan for improving the quality of life for the women and their children: income opportunities; social support and linking systems; and help and healing. She advocated for this action plan through public lectures, radio interviews and op-eds in newspapers across the United States.
Dr. Schein also conducted pioneering field research with impoverished women in Nicaragua. She examined the psychological functions of being in a work related group for these women. The groups included: a weaving and an agricultural cooperative; a union of domestic workers, and one of sex workers; micro enterprise groups; a community development group; a farming group; and a group of women working in the local garment assembly “sweat shops.” Both research endeavors helped to build a foundation for the emerging field of humanitarian work psychology.
In 1969 Dr. Virginia Schein received her Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology from New York University - the first woman to receive the degree from that institution.
As a young woman manager working in the insurance industry she often asked why there were so few women managers. Most male executives told her that women were simply not interested in being managers. Not willing to accept this commonly held belief, she used her research training to investigate her hypothesis about gender stereotyping and requisite management characteristics.
The initial research published in 1973 and 1975 in the Journal of Applied Psychology, the premier journal of the field, was one of the first of its kind in the US and globally to reveal the discriminatory attitudes hindering women’s professional advancement.
Not content to just have a scientific impact, she took her research on the road to help bring about organizational change. She engaged executive groups in discussions of the deleterious effect of gender stereotyping on women’s advancement and ways organizations can mitigate this effect on its selection and promotion practices.
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Dr. Virginia E. Schein is Professor Emerita of Management and Psychology, Gettysburg College and an International Consultant and Lecturer in the area of Gender and Leadership.
Professional achievements include:
• Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the International Association of Applied Psychology.
• Former United Nations /NGO representative for the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP)
• Founding member of the Global Organization for Humanitarian Work Psychology.
• Past President of the Work and Organizational Psychology Division of IAAP and of the Metropolitan New York Association for Applied Psychology.
• Elected officer for the Divisions of Organization Development and Change and Gender and Diversity in Organizations of the Academy of Management and for the Division of Industrial and Organizational Psychology of the American Psychological Association.
• Founding member of the Mayflower Group, a consortium of blue-chip companies that administer employee opinion surveys.
• Former member of the Board of Directors of Women in Community Service, Inc., a national organization dedicated to helping women in poverty.
• Charter member of the Board of Directors of the Keystone Research Center, a work and economic public policy institute in Pennsylvania.
Dr. Schein is a consultant for profit and non profit organizations internationally. Her clients include: British Telecommunications, General Electric, JP Morgan Chase, ExxonMobil, State Farm, Olivetti (Europe), International Management Services (Italy), Phipps Houses, Head Start and The Esther M. Klein Art Gallery.
Virginia Schein received her B.A. from Cornell University and her Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from New York University.