Women as Managers Scale

Peters, L. H., et al. (1974). Women as Managers Scale (WAMS): A measure of attitudes toward women in management positions. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, Ms. No. 585.


The authors suggest using the Women as Managers Scale (WAMS) in field settings. It might be interesting to adapt the WAMS to an educational setting.

Scale Construction:

The original 55-item WAMS included general descriptive traits of managers and female-specific stereotypic traits that could impede their obtaining managerial positions. Based on the results of item analysis and a principal components analysis, the new scale contained 21 items (11 worded positively and 10 worded negatively).


The original sample consisted of 541 advanced undergraduates from four universities in the Midwest and South. The validation sample consisted of 180 men and 100 women who worked for an international distributing company.


The corrected split-half (odd-even) reliability was 0.91.


To establish the validity of the WAMS, six predictions were tested. Four out of six predictions were supported at the 0.05 level. One prediction was supported at the 0.10 level, while one prediction was not supported (work history of female participants’ mothers). In addition, part of the sample was used in a cross-validation study.

Factor Analysis:

Although a principal components factor analysis yielded three factors, additional analysis suggested a single factor.

Data Analysis:

Descriptive statistics for the sample are provided. One-way ANOVAs were used to test the six predictions. A step-wise regression of attitudes on personal data and organizational data are reported.


Barnes, J. (2007). Women leaders in China: A comparative study of the influence of culture on leadership characteristics of Chinese, Chinese-American, and American women in China. EdD dissertation, Indiana Wesleyan University.

Crino, M. D., et al. (1981). A comment on the dimensionality and reliability of the Women as Managers Scale (WAMS). Academy of Management Journal 24:866–76.

Garland, H., and Price, K. H. (1977). Attitudes toward women in management and attributions for their success and failure in a managerial position. Journal of Applied Psychology 62:29–33.

Meyer, B. (2003). Atttitudes toward women in church leadership positions. PhD dissertation, Alliant International University, Los Angeles.

Terborg, J. R., et al. (1977). Organizational and personal correlates of attitudes toward women as managers. Academy of Management Journal 20:89–100.

Women as Managers Scale

1. It is less desirable for women than men to have a job that requires responsibility.
2. Women have the objectivity required to evaluate business situations properly.

3. Challenging work is more important to men than it is to women.
4. Men and women should be given equal opportunity for participation in management training programs.
5. Women have the capability to acquire the necessary skills to be successful managers.
6. On the average, women managers are less capable of contributing to an organization’s overall goals than are men.
7. It is not acceptable for women to assume leadership roles as often as men.
8. The business community should someday accept women in key managerial positions.
9. Society should regard work by female managers as valuable as work by male managers.
10. It is acceptable for women to compete with men for top executive positions.
11. The possibility of pregnancy does not make women less desirable employees than men.
12. Women would no more allow their emotions to influence their managerial behavior than would men.
13. Problems associated with menstruation should not make women less desirable than men as employees.
14. To be a successful executive, a woman does not have to sacrifice some of her femininity.
15. On the average, a woman who stays at home all the time with her children is a better mother than a woman who works outside the home at least half time.
16. Women are less capable of learning mathematical and mechanical skills than are men.
17. Women are not ambitious enough to be successful in the business world.
18. Women cannot be assertive in business situations that demand it.
19. Women possess the self-confidence required of a good leader.
20. Women are not competitive enough to be successful in the business world.
21. Women cannot be aggressive in business situations that demand it.


Strongly Disagree = 1; Disagree = 2; Slightly Disagree = 3; Neither Disagree nor Agree = 4; Slightly Agree = 5; Agree = 6; and Strongly Agree = 7. The scoring is reversed for the following items: 1, 3, 6, 7, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, and 21.