Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Stefanie K. Johnson

Second Advisor

David R. Hekman

Third Advisor

Russell Cropanzano

Fourth Advisor

Jeffrey G. York

Fifth Advisor

Maw Der Foo


Women are lacking in both leadership and entrepreneurship, a phenomenon which represents issues of inequality as well a loss of innovation and performance. Gender bias directed at women in leadership and entrepreneurship can be partly explained by gender role stereotypes and the perceived incongruence between the female gender role and the masculinity required of leaders and entrepreneurs. Yet other negative stereotypes of women also create challenges to their advancement in powerful business positions. Women are perceived as less emotionally stable than men, for example, and certain sexist beliefs portray women as power-seeking and manipulative. This dissertation explores the nuanced ways in which stereotypes and biases impact the advancement of women in leadership and entrepreneurship. Drawing from gender role stereotypes and the queen bee literature, the first chapter explores how empowering leadership can mitigate negative stereotypes of women at the top. The second chapter focuses on entrepreneurship and demonstrates that women on new venture teams activate the stereotype of women as less emotionally stable and therefore less suitable for entrepreneurship. In the final chapter, anonymization is explored as a solution to the problems identified in chapters 1 and 2. Women and organizations would be well served by looking beyond traditional diversity initiatives that have failed to decrease bias and utilize the largely neglect practice of anonymization to combat discrimination and increase diversity.