Disputant perceptions of gender: a challenge for women who mediate

Gender differences at the mediation tableGender bias persists.  Its influence casts a shadow over the negotiating table, where social conditioning and cultural expectations produce significant economic costs for women, following them from their first paycheck to beyond retirement.

But stereotypes and assumptions about gender may reach women on the other side of the negotiating table as well — the women who work as mediators, according to a research paper titled “Males and Females as Mediators: Disputant Perceptions“. From the abstract:

Third-party mediation is a popular means for resolving conflict in a variety of contexts. We investigated the extent to which a mediator’s gender may influence the disputing individuals’ view of the mediation. An examination of existing studies indicated that in general male mediators were perceived more favorably than their female counterparts were. Different perceptions could be the result of either behavioral differences between men and women or the stereotypes that disputants may hold regarding males and females. These results provide yet more evidence that additional barriers and challenges exist for women, compared to men, in the world of work.

(A hat tip to Geoff Sharp for sending along the link.)

One response to “Disputant perceptions of gender: a challenge for women who mediate

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