Gender quotas have shown themselves to be an effective means of getting more women into political office. Less clear is the broader effect of gender quotas on egalitarian attitudes. This article uses a cross-national dataset of 48 countries worldwide to examine the role of gender quotas in the generation of individual-level attitudes to women as political leaders. Firstly, gender quotas appear to improve perceptions of women’s ability as political leaders in countries where they are present, having controlled for a range of individual-level and contextual influences. Second, this effect differs by sex. For women, the presence of gender quotas alone increases their support for women’s political leadership, something theorised as a ‘vote of confidence’ effect. Thirdly, this effect is not dependent on the type of quota implemented and holds for quotas adopted voluntarily by political parties and those that are brought about via a broader legal change.