Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Margaret Padgett


The purpose of this study was to look at how variations in the gender diversity of the top management team of an organization will influence the perceived attractiveness and advancement opportunities job applicants see in the organization. College students reviewed a job posting that displayed three variations of gender diversity on the top management team (equal gender representation, all male gender diversity, and token female gender diversity), and either included or lacked a statement about the organization’s commitment to hiring a gender diverse work force. Participants reviewed the information about the job and then completed a questionnaire assessing the organization’s attractiveness and their perceptions of advancement opportunities in the organization. I predicted that exposure to inconsistent signals regarding the importance of gender diversity (e.g. diversity supportive statement and an all-male top management team) would negatively impact the attractiveness of the organization. Results showed that men and women reacted differently to the inconsistent signals. Specifically, men exposed to a gender diversity supportive statement found organizations more attractive and saw greater advancement opportunities when there was a token female present on the top management team rather than an all-male top management team. When no diversity statement was provided, top management team diversity did not impact either the attractiveness of the organization or perceptions of advancement opportunities. In contrast, when women were exposed to a gender diversity supportive statement, amount of top management gender diversity did not impact either outcome. But when no diversity statement was present, women perceived the organization as more attractive when a token female was on the top management team than when the top management team consisted of all males or had equal gender representation. Implications of the results are discussed.

Included in

Marketing Commons