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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name



Management and Information Systems

First Advisor

Christine Jackson


Communal and agentic characteristics have been used by organizational scholars to assess gender bias at work. Much research has looked at how gender biases may be related to performance ratings, yet little is clear of the relationship’s mechanisms. Much research has looked at how gender biases may be related to performance ratings, yet not much is known about how gender biases may influence the supervisor’s perceptions of an employee’s career advancement potential. In addition, there is little understanding of the intervening mechanisms of these relationships. Expectancy violations theory, double standards theory, and the overarching framework of social exchange theory are used in this study to explicate how perceptions of trustworthiness mediate the gender bias-career advancement relationship. The dissertation conceptualizes a three-way-interaction including gender, communal, and agentic characteristics of the subordinate to capture gender bias which is proposed to be related to the perceived trustworthiness of the subordinate. Using multiple regression analysis, results show that communality is significantly and positively related to increased trustworthiness perception from supervisors. Further, the relationship between supervisor’s perceived trustworthiness and career advancement potential in the forms of supervisor perceptions of promotability and sponsorship was found to be significant and positive. This relationship is stronger for women than men when predicting sponsorship though it was hypothesized that men would experience a stronger relationship. These findings provide possible solutions to the bias mechanism and open doors to other research avenues to conceptualize how gender bias is related to career advancement potential in the workforce.

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