Studies on political ambition in women have routinely shown that women are 'punished' for appearing to be overly agentic, strident and ambitious...and women are also punished for appearing to be overly squishy and communal. Note the word 'appearing.'
A key issue in stigma and stereotyping is the role of perception on the part of the more powerful group or party-the managers, hiring agents, admissions directors, board members and voters who have the power to advance or halt the progression of a career. And the lower you are on the social hierarchy the more likely you are to be subject to reductive opinions-or at least to be negatively affected by them.
For instance, women struggling to gain promotions and approval from male bosses or coworkers, particularly those trying to succeed in male-dominated fields, contend with the assumption that they're high on competence but low on warmth (an issue which clearly played out in the Hillary Clinton campaign), while secretaries and stay-at-home moms are presumed to be high on warmth but low on competence.
Working mothers are hit with a double whammy. While men with children have been shown to benefit from their parental status, working mothers find themselves suspect for their ambition at the same time that they are presumed less competent. We've all heard the statistic that women make eighty cents to a man's dollar. Childrearing issues aside, recent studies have also shown that both women and men react more negatively to the woman when a male/female pair read an identical script negotiating for a higher salary. The woman might get the raise, but a general malaise or resentment lingers which can have long term consequences for her career.