Lady Bosses

The WSJ has a story about the “Queen Bee” phenomena in the work place.  According to the article, women in positions of authority come with their own set of problems. 

Having spent decades working in psychology, a field heavily populated by highly competitive women, I had certainly seen the queen bee before: The female boss who not only has zero interest in fostering the careers of women who aim to follow in her footsteps, but who might even actively attempt to cut them off at the pass.

The article points out that women “who have complained for decades about unequal treatment now perpetuate many of the same problems by turning on their own.”

There is an assumption among women that women managers “would create a softer, gentler kind of office, based on communication, team  building and personal development.”  But this assumption seems sexist itself, that there would be some sort of “feminine energy” or “mothering” in a professional environment. 

I would argue women are just as shrewd as men and have a few more tools at their disposal. Like this:

Or when Kelly’s boss would comment on her outfit: “Who are you trying to impress today?” Or not-so-gently condescend: “Did you take your smart pill today, sweetie?” 

This type of leadership is described more like bullying rather than the explicit traditional “male” method of dominating.  Nevertheless, we have a real paradox on our hands.  On the one hand women complain that they are treated and dismissed because they are women (I assume for having stereotypical female traits of being petty or exhibiting behavior found commonly in high school lunch rooms or at the mall) and yet they get into power and conduct themselves exactly so.