Managerial aspiration: do gender and gender role identity make a difference in the Chinese context? Academic Article uri icon


  • Purpose The purpose of this study is to explore how gender and gender role identity separately and jointly affect managerial aspirations. Design/methodology/approach The study was cross-sectional in nature. Survey data were collected from Chinese Government sectors. Two-way analysis of variance was used to test the research hypotheses. Findings The results showed that gender role identity and combination of gender and gender role identity predict management aspirations while gender alone does not affect management aspirations. Androgynous individuals self-reported higher scores of managerial aspirations. Female managers who perceive themselves as androgynous and masculine tend to possess higher management aspirations. However, when they perceive themselves to exhibit feminine traits, they are more likely to hold lower management aspirations. Moreover, male managers with androgynous and feminine traits are inclined to have higher management aspirations. Research limitations/implications Due to cross-sectional survey data, research results may be biased by common method variance. In addition, because of a convenient sample, the research results may lack generalizability. Moreover, with participants from different organizations, the percentage of men and women in the organization and participants role conflicts between work and family life would impact the gender role identity of individuals. Future research should control for the gender composition of the workplace and participants role conflicts between work and family life. Practical implications The findings can help narrow the gender gap of managerial aspirations through focusing on gender role identity in selecting managers and designing the leadership training program, ultimately resulting in diminishing disparity in top leadership positions between men and women. Originality/value This study examines how gender and gender role identity separately and jointly affects managerial aspirations in the Chinese context.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, R., Qiu, S., Dooley, L. M., & Choudhury, T.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Ruijuan||Qiu, Shaoping||Dooley, Larry M||Choudhury, Tamim

publication date

  • March 2021