UCL School of Management is delighted to welcome Sreedhari Desai, UNC Business School, to host a research seminar discussing ‘Gender congruent contexts and counter-stereotypical exemplars: Women as risk seekers.’
Conventional wisdom in the social sciences is that on average, women tend to be risk-averse. Across several studies, we investigated and found that women’s risk preferences differ in masculine versus feminine domains. Our results suggest that gender role expectations vary across masculine and feminine contexts such that women feel less pressure to comply with risk-averse stereotypes in gender-congruent domains. We designed an intervention to investigate whether women’s risk-averse behaviors in financial domains can be altered by presenting them with counter-stereotypical female role models and found that women were less risk-averse when presented with a non-elitist, counter-stereotypical role model versus elitist, counter-stereotypical or stereotype-confirming role models. We discuss the implications of our findings for decision-making theories and organizations.