Linking Gender To Creativity: Role of Risk Taking and Support For Creativity Towards Creative Potential of Employees


In today’s era, organizations are under unparalleled creative pressure. The reason is that creativity is indispensable for growth, leading to success in ever-evolving and uncertain environments, pushing organizations to go all-out in capitalizing on the creative potentials of their work resources Anderson, Potočnik, & Zhou, 2014Liu, Jiang, Shalley, Keem, & Zhou, 2016. Creative performance, known as the fabrication house of unique and worthwhile concepts Amabile, 1983-1988, is crucial to augment organizational efficiency and triumph. It offers to challenge by taking up a daring approach through gutsy initiatives to violate conventional ways of perceiving things to be able to come up with answers that are instinctively diverse in comparison to the prevailing ones Shalley, Zhou, & Oldham, 2004. Inclination towards the diversity of gender is a coinciding factor in the trending significance of carrying out tasks in a creative manner in organizations Organization, 2015, proposing an acknowledged necessity for in-depth analysis of the impact of gender in pursuing creative milestones J. Baer & Kaufman, 2008Hora, Lemoine, Xu, & Shalley, 2021.

Despite the fact that research on creativity has been undertaken on massive scales in recent decades (Shalley et al., 2004), the available literature on its relevance to gender reveals contradictory facts. In the examination of the ability to perform creatively, a gender gap is revealed (Dul, Ceylan, & Jaspers, 2011; Hora et al., 2021). However, no gender difference is evident in the literature, not even a slight advantage to females in insight and creative abilities (J. Baer & Kaufman, 2008; Hora et al., 2021). Evidence suggests that men, despite having comparable creative abilities, have a greater tendency to achieve superior creative overall performance than women (Chavez-Eakle, Lara, & Cruz-Fuentes, 2006; Dul et al., 2011; Hora et al., 2021; Lee et al., 2020). Given that there are no differences in creative abilities between men and women, why is it necessary to create such divisions? Alternatively, if masculine superiority is acknowledged to exist in creative perspectives, what factor might aid in eliminating feminine disadvantages on creative grounds?

This study aims to address these questions by laying focus on social role theory and role congruity theory, taking in parallel the motivational mechanism of risk-taking behavior to unravel the answers. Social role theory Eagly, 2013 proposes that men and women tend to exhibit actions in accordance with stereotypical and gendered expectations from society. As an extension of the concept presented by the social role theory, role congruity theory focuses on the probable misalignment between gender and task roles and emphasizes the prejudicial consequences of the perceived incongruity Eagly & Karau, 2002. Such a viewpoint puts forward the fact that the mode of treatment, i.e., approval and disapproval, is gender-driven, vividly or tacitly, where conventional social roles and gender-biased expectations are plainly segregated into an association of authority and action with masculine traits and empathy and accord with feminine traits (Abraham, 2020; Heilman & Caleo, 2018; Hoyt & Burnette, 2013). Despite portraying individual self-images that are not in congruence with the so-called conventional perceptions (for instance, a self-standing woman or empathetic male), men or women exhibit consciously and subconsciously gender-biased stereotypical behaviors driven by societal pressure. Such actions promote gender-typed behaviors while suppressing actions that are not based on gender stereotypes (Chua & Jin, 2020; Parke, Seo, Hu & Jin, 2022; Wu, Richard, Triana, & Zhang, 2022).

Creativeness pertains to uniqueness as well as standing out from the masses by questioning practices already existing and taking up new ventures in recommending novel as well as unique work approaches to the extent of assertion Amabile, 1983Anderson et al., 2014, conventionally resembles principally agnatic and perquisites of men. Proposing an alternative to any established perceptions and responses based on them, being aware of the risk of dis-harmonizing prevailing work practices in the associated environments, requires firmness of assertion and independence essentially considered a privilege towards males, whereas situations contradict for females (Anglin, Coudisharmonizingrtney, & Allison, 2022; Luksyte, Unsworth, & Avery, 2018; Zhou, Wang, Bavato, Tasselli, & Wu, 2019). According to the role congruity hypothesis, women may become skeptical of their talents if there is any apparent discrepancy between their gender expectancies and work duties Eagly, 2013Eagly & Karau, 2002. In the case of creative performance, this would suggest a fall in women's risk-taking, which is described as an individual’s proactive behavior of taking personal risks for the improvement of his/her work performance Dewett, 2006 and a person's belief that she is capable of handling issues that necessitate them to consider and act creatively Dewett, 2007Tyagi, Hanoch, Hall, Runco, & Denham, 2017. Therefore, role congruity theory integrates the viewpoint that women may demonstrate lesser risk-taking in contrast to males, which inevitably results in divergence from their key skills in creative performance, although being similar to men on a creative base.

Nevertheless, the interactionist perspective basisthey aremenenvironmentsthem andindependence, which are), may assist women to cultivate a feeling of comfort that a fair chance will be given to their initiatives and creative ideas instead of being judged by stereotypical gender biased expectations. This, eventually, would serve as a measure to ease women's fears of risk while fostering imprints that they will have an equal chance as men of being called creatively credible. It can be put forward that risk-taking may best be predicted through a perpendicular approach of collaboration of gender and creativity support within the team, which sequentially impels creative performance.

This study has enabled us to strive towards making several contributions to future research on the relevance between gender and creativity. The contrariety of possessing equal abilities is examined between men and women, despite differing creative perspectives and behaviors Field (J. Baer & Kaufman, 2008), by suggesting/ putting to trial a probable source owing to this inconsistency, i.e., risk-taking. By doing so, this study significantly adds to unraveling the hows and whys of the intersection between gender and creativity at workplaces. Secondarily, on the path of pain pointing the source behind a gap caused by gender variation impacting creative behaviors (i.e., risk-taking), it is identified from the interactionist perspective that team support for creativity is a contextual factor that can assist in minimizing this gap. Organizations limit their productivity and create unnecessary competitive obstacles when they do not benefit from the maximum creative abilities throughout the workforce. Likewise, if women are not provided with conducive circumstances to reach their utmost creative goals, their sense of contentment and self-confidence may suffer. The purpose of this study is to lay its prime focus on the psychological progressions that define the self-analysis of creative capabilities and potential among men and women. Benefitting from the cross-level interactionist perspective, which serves best in identifying the cumulative effect of various factors for predicting creativity, this study further adds to practice by elaborating the relativity of factors that can be controlled (i.e., team support for creativity) by providing a fair game to men and women on creative grounds. Finally, even though inquiries on creativity through an interactionist perspective have been predominant as well as prolific, their approach has commonly focused on studying and scrutinizing precursors, including individual diversity, capabilities, and inspiration. This study, however, by taking into account the demographic features, puts to trial and discovers merits as an extension of this theory (such as gender), augmenting the prevalent intellect on the emergence of creativity through conditional procedures.

Literature Review And Hypothesis Development

Sociaenvironments and& Caleo, 2018). The study's listed angles indicate that violations of pre-perceived "do's" and "don'ts" based on gender directly target women for social rejection, internally fostered negativity, and unfavourable outcomes in achieving career goals. Furthermore, such descriptive and prescriptive business arouses gender implications (Heilman, 2012), which not only influences women's frame of mind but also jeopardises women's perceptions by harbouring approval for specific behaviours while developing disapproval for others that are not in accordance with it (Badura, Grijalva, Newman, Yan, & Jeon, 2018).

Even though expectations based on and driven by stereotypical and outmoded gender-based views may appear inappropriate in today's world, studies have consistently shown that such conventional expectations have a constant influence on our conscious and subconscious thinking (Haines, Deaux, & Lofaro, 2016; Heilman, 2012; Olsson & Martiny, 2018). People whose thoughts and actions contradict traditional gender-biased perceptions of societal roles are still influenced by the presence of agentic and communal activities around them, affecting their abilities of self-reliance, enthusiasm, and conduct (Acton, Foti, Lord, & Gladfelter, 2019; Badura et al., 2018). This influence can be attributed to a variety of factors, including previous social interactions, social stresses (such as probable, assumed, and/or actual), and unwanted responses experienced while participating in non-gender-conforming activities (Badura et al., 2018). Socialization psychologically pressurises individuals, leading to an inclination towards normative behaviour (Woodman et al., 1993), opting for a strategy of "norm sending" (Hunt & Gonsalkorale, 2014), resulting in individuals adhering to their conventional gender-based perceptions (Elsass & Graves, 1997) "Adherence to one's gender role may be so central to an individual that simply knowing, even at a subconscious level, that a particular activity is stereotypically part of the opposite gender's role may be sufficient to prevent further consideration of engaging in that activity," researchers explain. Men and women who do not even adhere to traditional gender roles have been found to be influenced: Even among people who are gender-neutral, preconceptions are still deeply embedded in their subconscious minds (Rosenborg & Boisen, 2013).

Gender-driven expectations promote gender-aligned behaviours and vice versa. Self-regulation and expectations-conforming attitudes are triggered (Elsass & Graves, 1997) by self-evaluation based on anti-societal norms, public positioning (Diebig & Bormann, 2020; Woodman et al., 1993), and subconscious pressure to meet conventional expectations. Despite holding influential and prestigious positions, these factors have a negative impact on self-assurance. Even when women engage in more agentic and less communal actions, authority and stature do not mitigate the effects of gendered biases (Eagly, 2013). In contrast to men who attempt to engage in cross-gender environments, women's involvement in male-dominated areas is always met with harshness and disapproval. Similarly, women who conform to conventional norms receive more recognition and acceptance (Anglin et al., 2022; Baccarella et al., 2021; Chua & Jin, 2020). As a result, men and women, knowingly or unknowingly, make choices by adapting such social models that society approves in order to seek alignment and acceptance from gender-typical expectations.

Gender and Risk-Taking Behavior

In the literature on creativity, acknowledgements and efforts to unravel gender expectations and the impact of gender discrimination on performance capabilities are addressed. Researchers discovered similarities in preconceptions about male perceptions of relevance with creativity (Proudfoot, Kay, & Koval, 2015; Zhou et al., 2019). Creativity represents a divergent philosophy in which considerations are placed on approaches that deviate from established or prevailing norms (Cropley, 2006), and is thus classified as a risky venture (Janssen, Van de Vliert, & West, 2004; Shalley & Lemoine, 2018). Speaking up for unconventional, unique ideas within organisational groups may become especially difficult because creative ideas may be perceived as interpersonally hazardous as well as contentious (Amabile, 2020; Ilha Villanova & Pina e Cunha, 2021). The agentic orientation attributed to males is more strongly associated with the creative process, such as emphasising autonomous attitudes relative to others, being authoritative and dedicated, and taking self-initiative, in contrast to the communal alignment assumed for females, due to its assertion of independent thought, proactively making risky moves, and possibly causing conflicting conditions (Cropley, 2006). According to the theory of componential creativity, "creativity-relevant" individual differences such as impartiality and valour are required for the emergence of creativity. This demonstrates a strong preference for male-oriented stereotypical and agentic traits (Amabile, 1983, 1988). This reasoning is supported by studies conducted by some researchers on the relevance of cultural customs to creativity (Goncalo & Staw, 2006). Given that creativity is inherently distinct and encourages individuals to stand out from the crowd, creativity in its approach is more analogous to individualistic norms attributed to men rather than collectivistic values of cohesion and orthodoxy attributed to females (Eagly, 2013). Overall, studies show that dominant conceptions of creative practises favour masculinity over agentic aspects (Luksyte et al., 2018; Proudfoot et al., 2015).

Men have an advantage over women in perceiving creative performance by being credible and more socially suited, thus strengthening their confidence in their own abilities to generate a fresh perspective, in accordance with the preestablished gender-based expectations of being significant, revolutionary means, self-assured, and eager to take on challenges. Women's social models, on the other hand, keep them in an ambiguity (based solely on societal roles and presumptions), of being unsuitable and out of place for creative work, harbouring the misconception of being judged biasedly by others, leading to question self-worth on creative grounds. The theory of social role, on the other hand, proposes that a female's self-confidence in prevalent gendered perceptions is sufficient to address such insecurity (Fyall & Gazley, 2015; Koenig & Eagly, 2014). Nonetheless, despite using agentic approaches, lessons learned from an experience involving anonymity or unfair evaluation have a profound impact on women's intuitive judgement abilities, causing cognitive changes such as decreased self-assurance (Heilman, 2012; Luksyte et al., 2018; Zhang, Jiang, Adeel, & Yaseen, 2018). Several studies have revealed a consistent behavioural pattern of disapproval experienced by women in response to their agentic performance at work (Hora et al., 2021; Wu et al., 2022), influencing their intellect and behaviour in an environment that exhibits gender-driven perceptions regardless of their personal point of view on the matter (Luksyte et al., 2018). Because feedback from the surrounding environment is the only mechanism through which an individual can establish a sense and estimation of self-worth (Ahmad, Thurasamy, Adeel, & Alam, 2023; Eibl, Lang, & Niessen, 2020), biassed assessments may cause women to lose confidence in their creative abilities.

Women's participation in stereotypically male-governed activities such as creative task performance or simply displaying agentic models places them in a position to violate societal standards not only by others but also by themselves. Such disparities in perceptions can have negative consequences, such as extreme self-criticism (Baccarella et al., 2021; Luksyte et al., 2018), making women doubt their abilities to thrive on creative fronts (Eagly, 2013; Heilman & Caleo, 2018) as gender-based perceptions and ideologies suggest that females lack sufficiency or are insufficiently liberated, insistent, determined, or "norm-breaking," which leads women to harshly and impractically judge and evaluate their own competencies (Koenig & Eagly, 2014). Furthermore, it may limit their ability to generate innovative ideas while adhering to societal norms and maintaining harmony in their surroundings.

As a result, women may lose faith in their ability to generate novel ideas. This effect may be amplified in areas where men predominate. Women may have a low opinion of their abilities due to the stereotyped influence of others' expectations on entering a male-oriented field (Rosenthal, 2002), with the perception that most people expect males to perform better than females, even if they differ individually (Koch, D'Mello, & Sackett, 2015). These factors may be influenced by gender-driven cultural norms, social expectations of gender roles, and sexism-based attitudes (Helson, 1999; Newton, Ottley, Williams, & Hill, 2022), giving women a false perception of their intellect as inferior to men's while lowering their risk-taking based on biases such as "male hubris-female humility" (Ahmad et al., 2023; Eibl et al., 2020; Karwowski, Lebuda, Wisniewska, & Gralewski, 2013). Gender attitudes, whether individually approved or internalised as social expectations, contribute to a lower level of positive conviction in women's creative potential.

Hypothesis 1:Compared to men, women have lower levels of risk-taking behavior.

2.2 Impact of Support For Creativity on Gender

Individual traits such as gender, according to the interactionist theory of creativity, do not impact the precursors of creativity in isolation; rather, their effects are either magnified or inhibited by such factors (Woodman et al., 1993). This is a particularly useful approach to investigating the impact of gender differences on creativity because it may help in understanding how contextual factors can help close any gender gap in creative confidence. With this mindset, support for creativity is seen as shared values that allow team members to express differing points of view without fear of jeopardising their own reputation, standing, or careers (Anderson et al., 2014). Employees should be encouraged to take risks and deviate from norms in this type of work environment by using safe approaches to working in new directions (Diliello et al., 2011). Even when one's opinions or actions are considered inappropriate by norms and expectations, these team environments are well-known for reducing or eliminating criticism, retribution, and other undesirable responses from members (M. Baer & Oldham, 2006). A viewpoint has been proposed based on team learning experiences and responses from management, responsibility, social standing, and other similar factors (M. Baer & Oldham, 2006; Diliello et al., 2011; Kim, Hon & Lee, 2010). Through research, it has been established that employees' creativity can benefit from the perception of being supported for creativity (Kim et al., 2010), which may, in turn, aid in improving team members' risk-taking, as proposed by furthering research in this direction (Esguerra, Jáuregui, & Espinosa, 2022). Nonetheless, it is debatable whether women experience this effect more strongly than men, a useful perspective for minimising the gender risk-taking gap.

Support for creativity creates the impression that team members are free to think outside the box and express opinions that contradict accepted norms (C. Richardson & Mishra, 2018). In other words, bringing forward a highly original concept is not seen as forceful, risky, or requiring a great deal of independence in a team that supports creativity. Instead, the group accepts such behaviour and prefers that similar approvals be granted to all team members (without gender bias). Rather than being viewed as a potential threat to team cohesion and harmony (especially by females), the creative process of daring to defy established practises is recognised as an expectation shared by all members, superseding conventional gendered approaches. This shifts its perception from an agentic and dangerous creative path ascribed to males to a concept perceived as desired collective cooperation in a psychologically secure work situation. As a result, in a team that values creativity, creative instincts can reflect communal gendered expectations rather than agentic ones, removing known/ mindful and hidden/ intuitive barriers that women considering creative participation might otherwise face.

According to social role theory and role congruity theory, this perception of conformity with traditionally feminine gendered norms would influence women more than men, boosting their sense of confidence and competence (Eagly & Karau, 2002). Men may benefit equally from the opportunity to express individual thoughts in environments that encourage creativity (Karatepe, Aboramadan, & Dahleez, 2020), but because they do not have gender-specific expectations around communion, they are less likely to benefit more from the communal aspect of creative pursuits than females. Perception of a team as supportive of creativity security can provide women with desired confidence, allowing them to enjoy some liberty in trying out new ways of carrying out tasks, pitching new ideas, and exercising creative skills without fear of humiliation or repercussions caused by gender-based ideologies while receiving responses from team members as well as management (Anderson et al., 2014; Lee et al., 2020) by redefining creativity from something f This approach has both immediate and long-term effects on women's risk-taking: first, they experience a favourable environment that makes them more likely to achieve and be viewed positively, and second, they develop their creative abilities, gain knowledge, and receive encouragement from others (Hmieleski & Sheppard, 2019). Support for creativity provides an implicit social indication that innovative ideas will be viewed more positively, and such indicators are critical for the development of self-efficacy (Han & Bai, 2020; Lagua, Moriano, & Gorgievski, 2019). A work environment that encourages creativity serves as a societal approval for women who see creativity as an unsuitable concept, resulting in positive effects on their work efficiency and competence insights (Maliakkal & Reiter-Palmon, 2022; Taylor, Ivcevic, Moeller, & Brackett, 2020). This effect may be weaker in men, who may have consciously or unconsciously viewed creativity as inextricably linked to and closely aligned with their gender-based expectations.

Findings indicating that women are far more likely to be influenced by external indicators when assessing their chances of success, whereas men frequently rely on intuitive indicators, lend support to the idea that encouraging creativity benefits women more than men (Maliakkal & Reiter-Palmon, 2022; Taylor et al., 2020). As a result, because women are more likely than men to believe that their success is influenced by their surroundings, contextual variables would have a greater positive impact on women's confidence than men's. As they develop insights into their own perceptions of creative capacities, women would benefit significantly from the external validation provided by a creativity-supportive work environment. Men, on the other hand, would be less influenced by team support for creativity because they are less likely to seek out toers for validation of their talents or innovative perception (Reis & Holinger, 2021; Wijewardena, Samaratunge, Kumara, Newman, & Abeysekera, 2020). In general, women would benefit more than men from increasing their risk-taking in a supportive, creative work environment.

Hypothesis 2: The effect of support for creativity on individual risk-taking is stronger (more positive) for women than it is for men.

Self-efficacy, or people's belief in their ability to manage situations and solve problems, has proven critical in evaluating the adequacy of human approaches to working and forecasting work efficiencies in such an area (Paunonen & Hong, 2010). Risk-taking has been shown to be both a direct predictor of creative effects and a moderator of more distal precursors (Dewett, 2007; Lagua et al., 2019; Tyagi et al., 2017). Self-evaluation of one's own capabilities and triumphs, as well as convictions in one's own ability, are posited as critical sources of inspiration for sustained behaviour on creative grounds, such as the ability to perform innovatively requires time and effort with a high risk of failure (Haase, Hoff, Hanel, & Innes-Ker, 2018; Walumbwa, Christensen-Salem, Hsu, & Misati, 2018). An individual's ability to perform creatively is determined by a variety of factors, including self-confidence in one's abilities to pursue a creative task in relevance trick-taking behaviour is unquestionably an empirical validation to envision a person's ability to perform efficiently on creative grounds (Games & Rendi, 2019; Lagua et al., 2019; Tyagi et al., 2017).

According to the interactionist approach to creativity, an ancillary influence of gender has been observed on creativity via risk-taking behaviour to show a strong reliance on support for the team's creativity (Diliello et al., 2011; Maliakkal & Reiter-Palmon, 2022; Taylor et al., 2020). Making inferences from previously presented hypotheses, women are expected to have an advantage in terms of support for creativity within their team, resulting in higher creative self-confidence. Women are more likely to lower their energy and enthusiasm in tasks requiring creativity, making it less likely for women to participate in creative processes if they believe they are less capable than men without a sense of support for creativity (M. Baer & Oldham, 2006). Females increased risk-taking is a way of giving them an advantage of core tenacity to encourage them to participate in creative activities, which strengthens their creative portrayal. Support for creativity reduces feelings of insecurity while increasing confidence in being aligned with female gender-based models and creative challenges. Men, on the other hand, are less likely to benefit from supportive creative work environments in augmenting their corresponding risk taking, as evidenced by a consequently lower improvement in their creative performance, based on their preperceived and predefined alignment with gender model expectations reflecting their perspectives on creative processes.

Hypothesis 3: The indirect effect of support for creativity on creative performance through risk-taking is moderated at the first stage by gender, such that women experience greater risk-taking gains from support for creativity than men do.

Figure 1.Cross-level moderated mediation model

Research Methodology

Sample and Data Collection

Data was collected from employees of a pharmaceutical industry in Jakarta, Indonesia, to test the research hypotheses. Management approved data collection in a formal meeting during which the corresponding author explained the purpose, objectives, and significance of the research. The management identified the area in which employees' creativity is possible in their work. The authors then gathered information from employees in the sales, marketing, research and development, and production departments. In a joint meeting with the employees, the researcher first explained the significance and purpose of the research. The author explained that participation in this research is voluntary, and individual responses will not be shared with anyone; however, collective responses will explain some relationships that are important to this research; this collective research will be shared and published for the benefit of others. In one-on-one meetings, the author then explained the significance and purpose of the research to the supervisors. Initially, data was collected from subordinates for support for creativity, risk-taking behaviour, and gender at t1 using a web-based survey method; after 6 weeks, data was collected from supervisors for the creative performance of employees working in their teams. There were 637 employees and 137 supervisors who expressed an interest in taking part in this web-based survey.

With a response rate of 66.8 percent, 426 employees participated and completed the surveys; 98 supervisors returned completed for their subordinates with a response rate of 71.5 percent. Missing and mismatched data (supervisor and subordinate responses) were excluded, resulting in a final qualified sample of 347 with a 54.4 percent response rate. The final qualified sample included 53.4 percent females and 46.6 percent males; the minimum number of subordinates reporting to one supervisor was three; and the minimum number of years of experience in the current pharmaceutical industry was five.


Risk-taking behavior

Employee risk-taking behaviour was assessed using a two-item, five-point Likert scale (Dewett, 2006; Schilpzand, Houston, & Cho, 2018). "I take an informed risk at work to try to get better results," one of the items says. and "I take a chance and try something new that may improve my work." The scale items range from 1 to 5, with 1 being "almost never" and 5 being "almost always." Cronbach's alpha stood at 0.87.

Support for Creativity

A five-point Likert scale with eighteen items was used to assess support for creativity (Amabile & Conti, 1999; Mathisen & Einarsen, 2004). There are three types of perceived creativity: perceived work-group creativity support, perceived supervisor creativity support, and perceived organisational creativity support. Each of the three types of perceived support for creativity was measured by six items (Amabile & Conti, 1999; Mathisen & Einarsen, 2004). "People in my work group are open to new ideas," "My supervisor clearly sets overall goals for me," and "People in this organisation are encouraged to take risks." The scale items range from 1 to 5, with 1 being "almost never" and 5 being "almost always." Cronbach's alpha stood at 0.84.

Creative Performance

A three-item, five-point Likert-type scale was used to assess creative performance (Oldham & Cummings, 1996). Managers were asked to rate each employee in their work unit on how much of their work was (1) creative, (2) original and practical, and (3) adaptive and practical for the organisation. The scale items range from 1 to 5, with 1 being "almost never" and 5 being "almost always." Cronbach's alpha value was 0.82.


Employees' gender was coded as a dummy variable with female = 1 and male = 0.

Control Variables

In this study, we controlled for the age, education, and experience of employees working in work-units (J. Baer & Kaufman, 2008; George & Zhou, 2001; Ng & Feldman, 2010; Shalley et al., 2004). Previous research has shown that individuals' perceptions of their creative self-efficacy and psychological safety can affect their creative performance in gender research. We controlled for creative self-efficacy with a three item-five-point likert type scale and psychological safety with a seven item-five-point likert type scale as a potential alternative explanation for the effects of gender role on creative self-efficacy and psychological safety (Tierney & Farmer, 2002). (1999, Edmondson). As an example of creative self-efficacy, consider "I have confidence in my ability to solve problems creatively," and "It is safe to take a risk in this team," as an example of psychological safety. The values for Cronbach's alpha were 0.76 and 0.89, respectively.

Analyses and Test of Hypotheses

Data was collected from pharmaceutical industry employees who were nested into different work units based on their functional requirements. Cluster analyses are recommended for such data due to the clustered nature of the collected data, as the employees were nested into different workgroups (Aguinis, Gottfredson, & Culpepper, 2013; Muthén & Asparouhov, 2018). As a result, we used hierarchical linear path modelling in Mplus with multilevel variance operated at a single level of analysis for within and between cluster variance, as recommended in the literature (Preacher, Zhang, & Zyphur, 2016). Table 1 of this study presents descriptive statistics (Means, Standard Deviation, and correlation among study variables).

Variable Mean SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1. Age 27.79 3.53
2. Gender 0.48 0.39 -0.181
3. Education 4.23 0.83 0.132 0.208
4. Organization Experience 5.32 0.28 0.206 -0.102* 0.016
5. Risk Taking Behavior 3.17 0.76 0.021* -0.230* -0.014* -0.342
6. Support for Creativity 3.52 0.92 0.234 0.502 -0.401 0.291* -0.354*
7. Creative Performance 4.15 0.64 -0.432* -0.125* 0.324 0.286 -0.453 0.324*
8. Creative Self Efficacy 3.45 0.43 0.256* -0.242 0.323 0.313* 0.424 0.422* 0.212
9. Psychological Safety 3.12 0.78 0.323 -0.421* 0.121* 0.324 0.213* 0.302 0.453* 0.342
Note. N = 347. Gender was coded as 0 = Female, 1 = Male. Education was coded as 1= College Graduate, 2 = bachelor’s degree, 3=master’s degree. S.E. = standard error. *p < .05; **p < .01;
Table 1.Means, Standard Deviation, and Correlation among study variables.Calculated by the author.

Hypothesis 1 predicts that women have lower levels of risk-taking than men, implying a negative relationship between gender and risk-taking behavior, with women having lower levels of risk-taking than men. As expected, a significant negative effect of gender on risk-taking behaviour was discovered, with the results presented in Table 2-model 1 indicating that women have lower risk-taking behaviour compared to men (β = -0.117, p.05). To further validate these findings, we also conducted an analysis of covariance with the same set of variables, with the results indicating (F = 4.20, p.05) a significant difference forisk-takingng behaviour for men and women providing support for regulation.

Predictor Model 1 Risk Taking Behavior Model 2 Creative Performance Model 1 Risk Taking Behavior
Estimate SE Estimate SE
Control Variables
Age 0.323 0.217 0.313 0.210 0.103 0.069
Gender -0.117* 0.058 0.071 0.065 -0.717 0.464
Education 0.231 0.124 0.301 0.161 0.413 0.379
Organization Experience -0.576 0.327 -0.609 0.346 0.065 0.034
Support for Creativity 0.094 0.111 0.323* 0.162 -0.901 0.510
Psychological Safety -0.221 0.203 0.202 0.185 0.198 -0.112
Creative Self Efficacy 0.063 0.058 0.374 0.344 0.267 0.134
Interaction: Female * Support for Creativity 0.280* 0.127
Δ χ 2 (Δdf) 25.23(7) 34.02(8) 36.36(9)
Δ R2 0.46 0.53 0.57
N = 347. Gender was coded as 0 = Female, 1 = Male. Education was coded as 1= College Graduate, 2 = bachelor’s degree, 3=master’s degree. S.E. = standard error.*p < .05; **p < .01;
Table 2.Regression of Main EffectsCalculated by the author.

We then tested a cross-level moderation of creativity support and gender for risk-taking behaviour, in which team-level creativity support interacted with individual-level gender for its effect on individual-level risk taking behaviour (Preacher et al., 2016). The results also confirmed hypothesis 2's prediction that the effect of support for creativity on individual risk-taking is stronger (more positive) for women than for men, implying that support for creativity has a positive moderating effect on the relationship between gender and risk-taking behaviour. The results of this regression, as shown in table-2-model-3, indicate that in teams with a high level of support for creativity, women benefit more from higher risk-taking behaviour than men (β = 0.280, p.05), we also performed a simple slope test, and the interaction is also plotted. According to the plots of the interaction shown in Figure 2, support for creativity has a greater effect on risk-taking behaviour in female employees and a limited effect on risk-taking behaviour in male employees, supporting hypothesis 2 of our research. Finally, as predicted by hypothesis 3, we investigated the indirect effect of creative support on creative performance through risk-taking as it differed by gender. The indirect cross-level effect of support for creativity on creative performance of employees through risk taking behaviour was greater for women (β = 2.76, p.01) and non-significant for men (β = 0.96, p >.05), supporting hypothesis 3 of this study.

Risk Taking Behavior Creative Performance
Fixed Effects Gamma Coefficients SE Gamma Coefficients SE
Within-Level Effects
Age 0.05 0.033 0.11 0.073
Education 0.03 0.027 0.09 0.082
Organization Experience 0.07 0.037 0.12 0.064
Creative Self Efficacy 0.56** -0.202 0.06* 0.028
Psychological Safety 0.68* 0.342 0.13 0.119
Gender -0.24* -0.120 -0.12 -0.066
Interaction: Gender *Support for Creativity 0.453** 0.158 0.23 0.200
Risk Taking Behavior 0.23* 0.107
Between-Level Effects
Age 0.09 0.060 0.48 0.54
Education 0.14 0.128 0.64 0.73
Organization Experience 0.05 0.026 0.80 1.87
Creative Self Efficacy 0.01 0.016 0.30 3.09
Psychological Safety 0.25 0.230 1.25 2.23
Gender 0.27 0.149 0.32 0.75
Support for Creativity 0.30 0.259 0.29 3.23
Risk Taking Behavior 0.43 5.46
Within-Level N = 347. Between-Level N = 98.Gender was coded as 0 = Female, 1 = Male. Education was coded as 1= College Graduate, 2 = bachelor’s degree, 3=master’s degree. S.E. = standard error.Standardized coefficients are reported.*p < .05; **p < .01;
Table 3.Regression of Main EffectsCalculated by the author.

Figure 2.Interaction of Support for Creativity and Gender

Research Results


The purpose of this research is to look into the strange irregularity of identical abilities on creative grounds, but uneven and misbalanced outcomes between men and women, by investigating the underlying mechanisms at work, such as risk-taking behaviour, which may aid in delineating a relative relationship between risk-taking behaviour and gender discrimination. A proposed multitier ideal investigates the relevance and relationship of contextual factors of a supportive environment for creativity in significantly shaping creative productivities with relevance to risk-taking behaviour in both genders, building on the interactionist perspective of creativity (Woodman et al., 1993) and the study of social role and role congruity theory (Eagly, 2013; Koenig & Eagly, 2014). The findings support the hypothesis that females take less risk than males on average. This shortcoming due to risk-taking behaviour is compensated for by support for creativity for females in a team, and this impact propagates via risk-taking behaviour to estimate creative portrayal (i.e., a mitigated preliminary secondary outcome of support for creativity along with gender).

Research Contributions

Theoretical Contributions

Despite the increasing importance of creativity in modern businesses, we still know little about any potential disparities between men and women in terms of access to creative opportunities and levels of success. There is a specific scarcity of research that describes inequalities in risk taking due to gender differences while offering solutions to fill any voids created by gender, particularly in accordance with the literature indicating similar creative capacities across males and females (J. Baer & Kaufman, 2008). This study effectively highlights new evidence that, despite the gradual weakening of stereotypical gender model perceptions and the advancement of gender equality in workplaces, significant gender inconsistencies remain prevalent in work environments. This study advances the understanding of the core ideologies governing these gender differences in creative performance by proposing that the gender difference may be explained, at least in part, by females' lower self-assurance about their own ability to engage creatively. According to this study, women may still experience stereotyped gender biases and heuristics rooted in their presumed and practised social standards, which may undermine self-confidence in their creative skillset and, as a result, their work efficiency on creative fronts (Haines et al., 2016).

The discovery of risk-taking functioning as a prospective explanatory strategy for the unusual relevance between risk-taking behaviour and gender has numerous significant associations because knowledge and identification of differences in organisations based on gender, as well as strategies to close these gaps, are critical for preserving impartiality for females at workplaces. Given that risk-taking behaviour has state-like characteristics (Tierney & Farmer, 2002) and is adaptable, it offers the theoretical and practical possibility of completely eliminating or at least compensating for gender gaps in creative ability. Our findings suggest that risk-taking treatments could aid in the removal of any barriers that women may face when performing creatively. Previous research has shown that elements such as organisational leadership and workforce development initiatives can have an impact on risk taking (Adeel, Kee, Mubashir, Samad, & Daghriri, 2023; Gong, Huang, & Farh, 2009; Tierney & Farmer, 2011), and it is possible that these initiatives may be especially beneficial in improving risk taking in females and, as a result, their creativity. In our study, we introduce one such factor, support for creativity, which may encourage risk-taking behaviour.

According to our findings, developing strategies to close the gender gap in risk-taking behaviour necessitates the application of the interactionist approach to creative capability (Woodman et al., 1993). According to some researchers, previous studies on gender as a key parameter alone may have caused researchers to overlook the delineation as well as complexities that can only be identified by considering workplace and group contexts (Kemmelmeier & Walton, 2016; Walton & Kemmelmeier, 2012). However, the use of the interactionist perspective in our research eliminates any such deficiency. Figure 2 depicts an analogous situation of "levelling" of the playing field when using the interactionist perspective on creativity. Despite the fact that women's risk taking is generally lower than men's, female risk taking in groups with high support for creativity was comparable to men's. Our observations also provide useful indicators for workplaces focused on reducing prejudices against females caused by structural weaknesses, as more women are seen for involvement in positions and activities traditionally associated with men (such as leadership, innovation, bargaining, and voice). Our research indicates that creating a supportive creative workplace environment may be the key to increasing females' self-confidence in their ability to successfully perform stereotype-incongruent responsibilities without feeling insecure about going against gender expectations.

These findings may also shed light on the role that creativity support plays in reducing gender-based status disparities. Women are still perceived to have lower social status than men in the workplace (Ridgeway, 2014; Van Laar, Derks, & Ellemers, 2016), and this perception is likely to lead to lower risk-taking in women (Byrnes et al., 1999; Tyagi et al., 2017). Men who are aware of the fact that they are individuals of higher standing may already perceive themselves to be more significant and competent in a group, and thus contextual support mechanisms similar to support for creativity may have little impact on them. Males, on the other hand, may develop the perception that they are creative regardless of the environment in which they work (Kahn, 1990; Nembhard & Edmondson, 2006). This notion is supported by the pattern of outcomes from our interactions: For males, the relationship between support for creativity and its impact on male risk-taking reveals linearity, which was also not surprising. However, in the case of females, probable anxiety and phobias related to creative practices may be reduced as a result of group support for creativity by elevating women's position and respect within such groups. Women may benefit from assistance or support in overcoming obstacles to their development of self-reliance and encouragement to develop a "can-do" attitude (Liao, Liu, & Loi, 2010; Ng & Feldman, 2010).

Because of this investigational study, the applicability of the interactionist perspective extends beyond its initial formulation. According to the original theory, research has previously focused on traits such as personal character (George & Zhou, 2001; Oldham & Cummings, 1996; Woodman et al., 1993), inherent determination (Wang, Kim, & Lee, 2016; Zhou et al., 2019). (M. Baer & Oldham, 2006). However, our findings highlight the theoretical significance and proclivity of gender to influence creative performance. Gender (along with other similar demographic characteristics) merits inclusion as a "personal" predictor of creativity in the interactionist approach because it may add a possibility component to all known factors foretelling creativity. Furthermore, given that our findings show the importance of gender and support for creativity, with females being significantly impacted by support for creativity in comparison to men, our work raises the possibility that contexts, in conjunction with similar analytical characteristics, can accurately predict creative efficiency. Taking, for example, an organization's total ethnic diversity as one of these demographic characteristics, this factor determines the extent to which the organisation approximates its impact on ethnic/religious minorities, finding ease of expression, and offering unique ideas at work (Lopes & Thomas, 2006).

In addition to gender-based anticipation and standing differences, women's own intuitions of gender role characters, or a measure of the extent to which men and women individually related to conventional roles, may have an impact on their creative confidence (Johnson, Murphy, Zewdie, & Reichard, 2008). Despite the fact that this study focuses on the role of gender-driven expectations in stifling risk-taking in females, it is possible to support the argument that the extent to which both genders believe creativity is appropriate for them is driven by these individual role identities, with those who assume more feminine roles perceiving creativity to be more in conflict with their identity notions. Gender and individual gender role identities are not identical; in fact, they appear to be inextricably linked, with men and women predisposed to having a more masculine and feminine personality, respectively (Badura et al., 2018). One possible explanation for these findings is that identity incompatibility affects both risk-taking and creative performance. Based on the tendency of expectations to dominate gender identity in cognitive functioning, a review of the evidence suggests that gender-based expectations should be the primary cause of risk-taking impact (Games & Rendi, 2019; Tyagi et al., 2017)

Our findings support this concept, particularly the persistence of the hypothesis's effects while regulating creative role identity, which is thought to be consistent with identities based on gender roles. It is worth noting that in our dataset, creative role identity does not correlate significantly with gender, which is an unusual but not unexpected finding. However, after taking into account departmental membership and the fact that different departments require varying levels of originality in work tasks, it was discovered that gender did have a strong influence on creative role identity (Karwowski et al., 2013). Collectively, this demonstrates the pervasiveness of gendered expectations in modern workplaces, which extends beyond role identity. Despite the fact that organisations' acceptability and endorsement of women have undoubtedly evolved over the last few decades, the estimates of both theories, social role and role congruity, on gender-based expectations remain relevant and potentially (Ahmed, Adeel, Ali, & Rehman, 2019; Haines et al., 2016; Zhang et al., 2018).

In fact, social role theory may have an impact on the componential model of creativity, which is widely regarded as the best theory on the origins of creativity (Amabile, 1983). Given that "creativity-relevant skills" (such as risk tolerance, autonomy, and assertiveness) are among the key factors influencing creativity, it stands to reason that people who are more comfortable with agentic expression will be more creative. Our findings support the social role theory's prediction that women will be less confident in such situations than men. The componential approach and gendered expectations highlight the importance of the disadvantages faced by women when evaluating their risk-taking behavior in relation to creative performance. Even if there is no instinctual goal in suspecting domain knowledge and inherent enthusiasm, the additional features of the theory of creativity antecedents (Amabile, 1983) may differ by gender, "gendered stereotypes of men as competent and women as warm" (Fyall & Gazley, 2015; Koenig & Eagly, 2014) may have an impact on people's opinions on women's ideologies by identifying factors that actually affect or are detrimental to women as perceived by themselves or as seen by others. How much of this can be mitigated by psychologically safe workplaces or the impact of other environmental factors?

The findings of this study on creativity support could have implications for research linking creativity and leadership. The beneficial effects of various types of leadership on creativity have typically been shown to be mediated by a supportive work environment (Adeel, Kee, et al., 2023; Bosselut, Guilbert, & Chareyre, 2020; Hassi, 2019; Suifan, Abdallah, & Al Janini, 2018), but such associations may need to be reexamined with employee gender taken into account. Our findings suggest that the impact of leadership on creativity may be less potent for men, and thus less valuable in industries with a higher proportion of male employees. That is, leadership may have to deal with gender-specific ceiling effects, similar to how support for creativity was ineffective in this study by raising male risk-taking above baseline high levels. Overall, more attention may be required to the factors involved in the impact of leadership on creative abilities in both genders.

Practical Contributions

A brief series of qualitative interviews conducted at the study's research site confirmed our findings and demonstrated the significance of these occurrences in real-world applications. Several women expressed doubt that their ideas would be appreciated or even considered innovative, whereas men frequently expressed confidence in coming up with creative ideas at work. Women were also found to be more likely than men to report that their organisation did not provide them with enough tools or assistance to effectively engage in creative tasks/projects. As a result, understanding women's creative endeavours in the workplace is now more important than ever as a result of a societal transformation so profound that women now outnumber men as an initiative in American labour history (Hill, 2013; Mulligan, 2010). Employees with creative edges are more important than ever in today's volatile, unpredictable, complicated, and unclear (VUCA) environment (Bennett & Lemoine, 2014). Women may have more difficulty in this field than men, not because they are less competent, but because they have a lower self-perception of risk-taking behaviour than men, which may be a manifestation of ingrained gender role prejudices.

This is concerning for both women and the companies that employ them because if this disparity in self-confidence is not addressed, a significant amount of creative potential may be wasted. As a result, if women are less confident in their creative abilities, they may be less likely than men to be hired in creative positions. Furthermore, as a result of their lower levels of creative performance, women may be less confident in their ability to generate original ideas, express their opinions, and take the initiative. This vicious cycle would exacerbate the numerous challenges that women face at work as a result of pervasive gender role prejudices, such as competition for positions requiring confidence and competence. Risk-taking behaviour is malleable, and our findings point to one practical way to increase women's risk-taking in proportion to men's. Support for creativity has been found to be critical for maximising full creative capabilities throughout an organisation and in creative efficiency groups, especially in organisations with a diverse workforce. Support for creativity indicators are an important contextual factor that helps women see beyond stereotypical gender preconceptions and increase their proclivity to perform creatively at work. This approach, according to our findings, may be beneficial to workers' psychological well-being. It can also aid in the development of supportive and safe organisations by encouraging participation in information exchange and administrative processes, as well as the expression of diverse viewpoints and new ideas.

Limitations and Future Research Directions

All studies have limitations. To begin with, a study replica converging on the diversity of the workforce, developed areas, and cultural environments would be beneficial in increasing confidence in the generalisation of these findings. Because the majority of our participants were native, our samples were somewhat constrained by the diversity/variety in race and ethnicity. However, to see how these changes would affect the results, we assessed the conclusions' validity by including racial and/or ethnic variations as an extended variable and excluding controls such as creative role identity (Bernerth & Aguinis, 2016). The aggregate conditional indirect effect remained significant, and the coefficients in these models did not change noticeably. Nonetheless, a follow-up study using samples from more diverse racial/ethnic groups would be beneficial. Although our study benefited from a multisource, briefly stalled design that reduced the potential influence of common method biases and provided significant extrinsic validity (H. A. Richardson, Simmering, & Sturman, 2009), we strongly encourage future researchers to use mixed methods approaches to replicate the results on our lines under different and diverse circumstances.

Our proposed theoretical inferences imply that a close and precise focus on the gender role in risk-taking at work should be placed. Gender is usually reduced to a mere control variable in existing risk-taking approaches. This study encourages researchers to investigate how demographic factors such as gender affect not only the final creative product but also numerous processes in the creative process, as a more refined and sophisticated understanding would allow for the development of targeted strategies for closing the gender gap in creative performance. Furthermore, it would be beneficial for both theory and practice to investigate organisational contextual elements other than support for creativity, such as psychological support or leader for creativity, to determine whether these aspects have an analogous amplifying impact on augmenting women's risk-taking and creative performance.

Acknowledgment Statement: The authors would like to thank the reviewers for providing comments in helping this manuscript to completion.

Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Author contribution statements: Author 1 and Author 2 contribute to conceiving, designing, conducting the research, analyzing the data, and drafting the initial manuscript. Author 3, methodology and data analysis. Authors 4 and 5, collecting data, drafting, formatting, and analyzing, and author 6, drafting, reviewers responding, and methodology.

Funding: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Ethical Consideration statement: Not applicable. This study did not involve human and animal studies.

Data Availability Statement:Data is available at request. Please contact the corresponding author for any additional information on data access or usage.

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