Over the past decade, federal as well as state
legislation has been passed to eliminate discrimination and
create equality in the workplace. However, the attitudes of
professionals are not as easily changed. Many barriers still
face female executives entering the corporate level. This
study examined the attitudes of professionals in the
Willamette Valley toward female executives.
By using the Managerial Attitudes Toward Executive
Females Scale (MATWES), the differences in the managerial
attitudes of professionals in the four Oregon cities of
Portland, Salem, Con/all is and Eugene were examined.
Differences in sex, city, sex-city interaction, age and
industry of employment were variables. The sample was
composed of professionals were members of a Rotary Club (male)
and members of a Zonta Club (female) in each city. Responses
from 289 surveys were obtained during meetings and analyzed, 199 from Rotary Clubs and 90 from Zonta Clubs. One and
two-way analyses of variance were performed on the categorical
1. There was a difference (.05 level) in the managerial
attitudes of Oregon Rotary and Zonta Club members, i.e. men
and women professionals, toward women executives.
2. There was no statistical difference in the total
managerial attitudes of professionals toward women executives
in the Oregon cities of Salem, Eugene, Corvallis and Portland.
However, six MATWES items were rejected.
3. There was not an interaction between sex and city
although two items showed an interaction.
4. There was an association between the managerial
attitudes toward women executives and the age of professionals
in Oregon. However, two items showed a difference.
5. There was an association (.05 level) between the
managerial attitudes toward women executives and the industry
in which an Oregon professional is employed.
On the basis of this study, the writer made the following
1. The women were less sexist than the men.
2. Women may expect to be stereotyped and discriminated
against for some time to come.
3. In three items women had lower mean scores than the
men, all of which reflect a negative self image and an
inaccurate perception of their male colleagues.
4. Men remain adamantly sexist on the issue of workplace
equality and women share their outlook.
5. Eugene is more receptive to women executives than
6. Corvallis men expressed a willingness to accept female
executives in time. 7. Corvallis men also believed more than any one else
that women take credit for work done by men.
8. A change in attitudes is in process.
9. Professionals over the age of 65 believed they have
less to fear from women competitors than professionals under
the age of 35.
10. The transportation and retail trade industries are
less receptive to promoting women than is government and the
industries of commmunication and agriculture.
The writer made the following recommendations:
Women hoping to crack the executive ranks in Oregon
businesses must be aware of the attitudes affecting their
career. Men must also come to realize that by denying women
subordinates access to executive positions, they contribute to
the attitude which prevents their own wives, daughters and
granddaughters from earning pay and positions equal to that of
their male colleagues. Recommendations for further research
were also made.
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