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Hofstede: Masculinity / Femininity

This dimension focuses on how extent to which a society stress achievement or

nurture. Masculinity is seen to be the trait which emphasizes ambition, acquisition of wealth,
and differentiated gender roles. Femininity is seen to be the trait which stress caring and
nurturing behaviors, sexuality equality, environmental awareness, and more fluid gender roles.
Hoftstedes definitions:
Masculinity stands for a society in which social gender roles are clearly distinct: Men are
supposed to be assertive, tough, and focused on material success; women are supposed to be
more modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life.
Femininity stands for a society in which social gender roles overlap: Both men and women are
supposed to be modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life.

Traits of Masculinity / Femininity

Low Masculine
High Masculine
social norms ego oriented relationship oriented
money and things are quality of life and people
important are important
live in order to work work in order to live

politics and economic growth high environment protection

economics priority high priority
conflict solved through
conflict solved through force

religion most important in life less important in life

both men and women as
only men can be priests

work larger gender wage gap smaller gender wage gap

more women in
fewer women in management
preference for fewer
preference for higher pay
working hours

family and school traditional family structure flexible family structure

girls cry, boys dont; boys both boys and girls cry;
fight, girls dont neither fight
failing is a disaster failing a minor accident

A high score (Masculine) on this dimension indicates that the society will be driven by
competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner / best in field
a value system that starts in school and continues throughout organisational life.
A low score (Feminine) on the dimension means that the dominant values in society are caring
for others and quality of life. A Feminine society is one where quality of life is the sign of
success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable. The fundamental issue here is what
motivates people, wanting to be the best (Masculine) or liking what you do (Feminine).

With a score of 66 Germany is considered a Masculine society. Performance is highly valued and
early required as the school system separates children into different types of schools at the age of
ten. People rather live in order to work and draw a lot of self-esteem from their tasks.
Managers are expected to be decisive and assertive. Status is often shown, especially by cars,
watches and technical devices. The masculinity index (MAS) ranks quite high, not because men
are particularly dominating the workforce but rather, Germans as a people, value
competitiveness, assertiveness, ambition, and the accumulation of wealth and material


Romania scores 42 on this dimension and is thus considered a relatively Feminine society. In
Feminine countries the focus is on working in order to live, managers strive for consensus,
people value equality, solidarity and quality in their working lives. Conflicts are resolved by
compromise and negotiation. Incentives such as free time and flexibility are favoured. Focus is
on well-being, status is not shown
Romania is a feminine country, i.e. the Romanians tend to look for collaboration and welfare of
the entire society and are less competitive regarding promotion and achievement. The score of 39
places Romania within the group of countries where male and female roles are not pre-
determined and men tend to take over domestic responsibilities just like their spouses (provided
they are allowed to by their mother-inlaw!). The good news is that in a feminine society, there is
no need for affirmative action to promote women in the parliament or management positions, as
they will advance if they want to, as their male colleagues are not inclined (or able?) to create
any glass ceilings. In feminine countries, it is the man who is more feminine in values and tends
to be less cooperative. In addition, as a high power distance acting country, corruption is high;
however, crime can hardly be organized in feminine countries as there is not enough
competitiveness of the good or evil and Romanians will resort to petty theft and
misdemeanours rather than high scale smuggling and terrorism, which is usually correlated with
masculinity and high power distance. We may escape the fate of similar Latin American
countries, such as Mexico and Peru, which have become also the territory of local terrorism and
camarilla when economic times went bad. The bad news is that the feminity of the population
will render the local companies uncompetitive on the international market, and the Romanians
will hardly do anything to improve that situation. Since they favour their leisure time and
domestic cooperation, Romanians will allow other companies, more powerful and bolder, to take
their place on the market without much effort.