The face says it all: CEOs gender and predicting corporate performance

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The face says it all: CEOs gender and predicting corporate performance
The Leadership Quarterly

This study examined relationships among CEOs' facial appearance gender-linked traits and the financial performance of their company as indicated by Fortune 1000 rank and company profits. Naïve college students rated traits based solely on the facial appearance of male and female CEOs whose companies were matched by Fortune 1000 rank. Female CEOs were rated higher than male CEOs on communal traits (supportiveness compassion warmth) whereas male CEOs were rated higher than female CEOs on agentic traits (dominance leadership powerfulness) consistent with social role theory. Correlations with company rank and/or profits were found for powerfulness for male CEOs and for supportiveness warmth and compassion for female CEOs. For female CEOs a communal composite predicted company rank and profits and an agentic composite marginally predicted company rank. The findings do not indicate why these variables are related but implications for the association of gender-linked traits with top corporate leaders are discussed.

The Leadership Quarterly 25 (2014) 855 – 864

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