Political Solidarity and Leadership for Gender Equality: Does Ally Gender Matter? 

Subasic. E. (The University of Newcastle), George, M. (University of Newcastle), Young, M. (University of Newcastle), Reynolds, K. J. (Australian National University), Branscombe, N. R. (University of Kansas), Ryan, M. K. (University of Exeter) 

When it comes to unequal gender relations, the focus within psychology has been on factors that perpetuate inequality rather than processes that promote social change towards equality. Instead, our research starts from the perspective that a social change focus is necessary to better understand collective mobilisation for gender equality across gender boundaries. This work has shown that messages that advocate solidarity between men and women (rather than focus on inequality as a women’s problem) more readily mobilise both sexes. However, for men, this effect is attenuated when the message is attributed to a female (vs. male) leader (Subasic et al., 2018). In this talk, two experiments examine how the presence (vs. absence; Exp 1, N = 339) of male or female allies (Exp. 1 and Exp. 2, N = 405) affects female leaders’ capacity to mobilise both men and women. We show that the support of male allies is particularly effective at mobilising collective action in response to a female leader advancing gender equality as a common cause. The presence of male allies further increases the perception of the female leader as ‘one of us’ and her influence. These findings are discussed in light of a new social change agenda for gender equality research.

Twitter: @eminasub 

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Social Change Symposium