Promotion focus is valued in men more than in women. By: Gutermuth, Dinah and Hamstra, Melvyn R. W. 2024. Journal of Organizational Behavior. p1.

Summary In this research, we test the hypothesis that promotion‐focused eagerness does not yield the same evaluative benefits in the workplace for women as it does for men. Regulatory focus theory suggests that promotion‐focused eagerness potentially casts a person in a favorable light in the eyes of superiors. Nevertheless, we propose that promotion‐focused eagerness violates the prescriptive gender‐stereotypical expectations that people have of women. The gender deviance (i.e., not acting in line with gender expectations) that occurs when a woman is promotion‐focused causes this woman to pay a “gender tax” that a promotion‐focused man does not pay. First, we conducted two experiments wherein managers (<italic>N</italic> = 127) or students (<italic>N</italic> = 236) evaluated qualified fictional job applicants: in both experiments, compared with an identical male applicant, the promotion‐focused female job applicant was valued less, as evidenced by a lower starting salary offer. Second, in a dyadic study (<italic>N</italic> = 474 dyads), male employees’ promotion focus was positively associated with their manager’s evaluations of them, whereas female employees’ promotion focus was not. Our results show that promotion‐focused women are not valued as positively as their male counterparts.