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Either likeable but incompetent or competent but not likeable

Women face unique, restrictive conditions when attempting to succeed in traditionally male-dominated fields. Competence and warmth are fundamental dimensions that individuals use to perceive and judge each other. Characteristics such as independence, assertiveness, and power align with male stereotypes, while warmth, sense of community, and helpfulness align with female stereotypes. A confident, strong woman who defies expectations created by the female stereotype can threaten societal conventions of female behavior, leading to resistance and backlash. Both competence and warmth are essential for success, but the incongruence between normative female roles and the "masculine" expectations of the business world often result in women being perceived as either likable but incompetent, or competent but unlikable.

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