Hoover, Ann E.; Hack, Tay; Garcia, Amber L.; Goodfriend, Wind; Habashi, Meara M. Sex Roles. Jun2019, Vol. 80 Issue 11/12, p667-680. 14p. 2 Charts.

We examined male power-roles as a potential moderator of gender bias in hiring decisions. Drawing from previous work on perceptions of agentic women and precarious manhood theory, we predicted that men in low-power roles may react more negatively to agentic women compared to men in high-power roles. In two experiments, male participants evaluated résumés from male and female job candidates applying for a managerial position. Across experiments, results suggest that lacking power may facilitate biased hiring decisions. U.S. college men assigned to (Experiment 1, n = 83) or primed (Experiment 2, n = 84) with a low-power role rated the female applicant as less hireable and recommended a lower salary for her compared to the male applicant. This difference did not occur in the high-power or baseline conditions. A meta-analysis combining the results of both experiments confirmed that gender bias was limited to the low-power condition. Results are discussed in terms of powerlessness as a masculinity threat that may have downstream consequences for women.