Is sexism in the workplace being fueled or diffused by women in leadership roles? According to the article Distant female bosses may reflect a sexist workplace, the “queen bee phenomenon”, or the way women in leadership roles distance themselves from other women in the organization, will begin to dissolve as more women take leadership roles. Unfortunately, in my experiences in multiple workplaces, I have seen far too many women become sexist against other women. These women leaders tend to become more masculine in their dealing with employees because they are higher in the ranks than they are. Unfortunately, this also generally leads to power trips, which diffuses employee morale in the process.
This article points out that queen bees tend to agree with their male counterparts that women are less capable than them, but that obviously excludes the queen bee, which seems to add fuel to the sexism fire. Through my experience with women leaders, myself included, I find that most women tend to take on that masculine leadership role to compete with their male counterparts. This can be good because the competition is tough for women. On the other hand, this can be bad because these types of women tend to distance themselves from other women, causing conflict in some cases. I have also watched some women as they become more than just masculine in this role; they tend to go on a power trip, which turns off everyone, including their male counterparts. As women in the
working world, we need to be careful of how we lead, making sure that we aren’t too overbearing because we are trying to compensate for being a woman. Having strong leadership qualities is great, and is a must, but too much can be damaging to your career.
Do you have any queen bees in your organization? Are they too overbearing, or just masculine enough?