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IACM 2023

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To Take Or Not To Take: Perceiving Gendered Norms In The Case of Parental Leave

Social norms are powerful, yet little is known about how people infer norms in organizations, especially norms related to group stereotypes. We examine a behavior related to both gender norms and organizational culture: taking parental leave. Whose behavior—men or women—influences parental leave social norms more? In a series of experiments, we find that individuals generalized significantly more from male exemplars to prescriptive norms for women than from female exemplars to social norms for men. This led the male exemplar’s behavior to be more influential under certain predictable conditions. This work suggests a pathway for shifting social norms in light of group stereotypes and contributes to the nascent literature on allyship.

Jennifer Dannals
Yale School of Management
United States

Julia Bear
Stony Brook University
United States


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