Reducing the backlash effect: Self-monitoring and women's promotions


  • This paper is based on the same dataset used in O.A. O’Neill and C.A. O’Reilly (2010), Journal of Organizational Behavior.

Olivia (Mandy) O’Neill, School of Management, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive MS 5F5, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA (e-mail:


Previous research shows that masculine (agentic) women suffer from a backlash effect in which they are sanctioned for violating the feminine gender role stereotype. We examine the impact of self-monitoring on the promotion rates of MBA men and women over an 8-year period following graduation. Results show that women who were more masculine as well as high on self-monitoring received more promotions, suggesting that self-monitoring is associated with an absence of backlash effects.