Prejudice towards female leaders: Insights from the hotel sector in Jordan

Tamer Koburtay*, Jawad Syed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper examines gender practices at hotels in Jordan by scrutinizing the extent to which prejudice toward females influences their ability to emerge as effective leaders. It also examines the extent to which the dominant image of leaders is more masculine or feminine, and how such a stereotype may result in gender bias in leadership. Drawing on a survey of 392 employees working in 4-star and 5-star hotels in Jordan, the study shows that if perceivers stereotype successful leaders as more masculine, there is likely to be an evaluative penalty of prejudice against female leaders even if they possess leadership qualities. Also, the results show that gender equality and appreciation of feminine leadership attributes may be helpful to address such a prejudice. The importance of this study derives from extending the role congruity theory through a contextual investigation in the hotel sector in Jordan, and in offering a nuanced understanding of gender-related biases that may be considered to develop more inclusive approaches to leadership.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-542
JournalJournal of Human Resources in Hospitality and Tourism
Issue number4
Early online date13 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


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