Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Gender and Voice

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative

Date:

May 07, 2018

In two studies of work groups of cadets at West Point, the author found status and group leadership was affected differentially by gender and types of expression. When both genders used “prohibitive voice,” that is, speaking to problems or offering criticism, no change in status or leadership occurred. However, men gained status and were more likely to become leaders when they spoke with a “promotive voice,” that is, providing ideas for improvement. Women received no gains in speaking with the “promotive voice.”

How might this research inform your attention to gender patterns in your own work groups? How might engaged participants and facilitators attend to gender patterns and invite reflection by the group?

Source: “The Social Consequences of Voice: An Examination of Voice Type and Gender on Status and Subsequent Leader Emergence,” by Elizabeth J. McClean et al. (Academy of Management Journal, 2017)

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