Report: Women Who 'Turn On and Off Masculine Traits' Outdo Colleagues

It's an unfortunate office stereotype that confident women are considered overly masculine and overly feminine women are deemed unserious. But a new report finds that self-aware but assertive women who know how to "turn on and turn off" masculine traits are more likely to get promotions over both men and women:

"Masculine women who are able to turn on and turn off these masculine traits were more likely able to succeed above female counterparts and male counterparts," said Olivia O'Neill, assistant professor of management at George Mason University. The British Psychological Society has just published research by O'Neill and her co-author, Charles O'Reilly, a professor at Stanford's Graduate School of Business.

Ideally, decisions made in hiring and promoting would have more to do with ability than degree-of-masculinity. But to me, this is another way of saying people who are smart enough to monitor their interactions with colleagues and who demonstrate communicative awareness are more likely to succeed than average people. No surprise, there.

Read the full story at ABC.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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