(Un)Willing to lead? Men, Women and the Leadership gap

Yaxiong Li, Erwann Sbai, Ananish Chaudhuri

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


We explore the willingness (or lack thereof) of male and female subjects to volunteer for a leadership role where the leaders’ job is to resolve potential coordination failures in a weak-link game designed to simulate intra-organization coordination problems. We look at whether: (1) there are systematic gender differences in the willingness to lead and (2) followers are less likely to follow female leaders. We find that, compared to men, fewer women volunteer to lead, particularly when the leader’s gender is revealed to the followers. But, by and large, male and female leaders choose similar messages and/or actions in this game, and controlling for those, groups achieve similar levels of coordination success regardless of the leader’s gender. We do not find evidence of resistance against female leadership, even though anticipation of such backlash likely lies behind the female reluctance to lead.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 2023


Dive into the research topics of '(Un)Willing to lead? Men, Women and the Leadership gap'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this