Exclusion of female Norwegian top executives : Gender affection on risk perception in a top executive selection
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- Master of Science 
While previous leadership literature has focused on the single relationship between gender and employability of top executives, this thesis contributes by exploring how the risk factors of men and women are unequally interpreted in the evaluation process. With the use of an experimental design, four equivalent résumés – two male and two female – were both rated and ranked by participants of candidates’ employability. I predicted that women would be rated and ranked lower than their male counterpart, and that the equivalent risk factor would be evaluated differently between the genders. Findings from a sample of 107 top executives and professional executive search agents from several of Norway’s largest firms, as well as non-professionals, indicate that men and women have unequal opportunities for being appointed in a top executive selection. The results revealed that the predicted likelihood of being appointed as top executive was more in favor of a male candidate. Even though female candidates were ranked higher, implicit ratings revealed distinctive evidence as male candidates received the highest ratings. Hence, implicitly favoring male candidates. This was particularly true when participants were male. Moreover, further findings revealed that employers were inconsistent with their evaluations when rating and ranking candidates – showing tendencies of giving socially desirable responses.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Leadership and Change - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2017