Date of Award
The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how the portrayal of gender roles and stereotypes have influenced young women growing up and how this representation has affected women’s career choices—specifically in sales. This thesis will explore the evolution of the Disney Princess, how the gender roles of these characters have influenced young girls’ perception of their role models, career choices, and perceptions of themselves in the workplace. This exploration is done through three different studies. The first is a case study of three Disney Princesses and the portrayal of women in their respective eras. The second study consists of in-depth interviews with women in the workplace in order to obtain a better understanding of the gender biases and stereotypes affecting women in the workforce today. Finally, the third study conducts a survey of undergraduate college women at the University of Mississippi to measure their attitude towards leadership, gender equity in the workplace, and social media’s impact on their perceptions of sales as a career. After studying the evolution of the Disney Princess, it is evident that young girls’ perceptions of themselves and their image in society has progressively evolved and will continue to improve once there is more representation of female leaders in media. Primary research indicated that the women interviewed were not directly influenced by the princesses; instead, these heroines did inspire these women to be who they are along with assisting in forming their self-identity and identifying who they perceive to be their role model and the influence these role models had on women in the workplace. Primary research also suggested that although women have had a development of leadership skills and are more likely to be placed into leadership positions in the workplace, the depiction of women in leadership roles are underrepresented in the media and there is still need for an increase of women as leaders. More representation of female leaders in media, specifically film, will provide young girls growing up a better and more essential role model.
Read, Skylar Laine, "Changing the Script: An Investigation of How Gender Roles and Stereotypes Influence Women’s Career Choice in Marketing" (2021). Honors Theses. 1691.
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