Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Margaret Williams

Second Advisor

Janet Hutchinson


Stereotypes continue to be present and impact the assessment of women’s leadership effectiveness. Using a data set of senior executives in the public sector from The Leadership Circle multi-rater assessment tool, research supports the theory that gender influences how bosses rate their direct reports on leadership effectiveness. Survey data identifying leadership characteristics in the assessment as communal or agentic substantiate role congruence theory that women are still penalized for behaving contrary to the feminine stereotype. Role congruence theory seeks to explain the barriers that prevent women from rising into leadership positions. Representative bureaucracy explains the consequence in public policy when women are not in the senior executive positions of authority.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2010