“The female manager [is] seen as being emotional. More specifically, the female manager [is] seen as being more nervous and more aggressive than a male manager” (Brinded, 2017).
I am in the position of privilege to speak and work with many educated, successful women in power.
I also once had the privilege of a female supervisor telling me that all of my strides in a project were because of my ‘pretty face’ and not my work ethic and collaborative skills.
What continues to amaze me is that successful women, women in positions of power, regularly voice how they prefer working for a male supervisor because there is less ‘drama’.
They say that women are too emotional, competitive and jealous of other women.
“ ‘Queen Bee Syndrome’-the phenomenon of powerful women being disliked-is very real, and that women are often meaner to each other than men are to women” (Ang, 2018).
Is this true?
Some of my best supervisors have been women and I have learned and continue to learn so much from them, but I have had some female supervisors I was not so fond of. I have also had male supervisors that I was not so fond of, but I think I naturally expected less from them.
We are already fighting for equality on so many fronts, how do we even have the energy to fight amongst each other?
When we focus on the women around us as the enemy, we continue to allow these ideologies that women are not here for one another and we continue to build these environments of female distrust.
How are these ideas perpetuating gender issues and keeping us suppressed professionally?
Until women stop saying that working for another woman is a deterrent, we will continually be working to keep the system alive, which is suppressing our professional success. We need to start seeing each other as our support system in order for all of us to succeed; individual success is irrelevant in breaking this system down.
Women are predisposed to be competitive with one another, so we need to acknowledge this bias before being able to rise above it.
We have been taught to believe that there is not room at the top for all of the women, so we need to bring one another down, to attain these elusive positions of power, which is simply not true. This is an idea that our systemic bias has made us believe, so that we keep competing with one another versus the system.
“…having just one woman on the board or senior management team of a company is seen as ‘progress’ ” (Brinded, 2017).
Have you ever called a male boss a nag or bossy? Probably not because these terms, especially nag, are saved and used to define women. What do we call male supervisors who are short tempered, disorganized and unpredictable? I think we call them boss.
We see women in positions of power as ruthless, bitchy and selfish, but we do not tend to associate ruthlessness, rudeness and self importance in men in positions of power with the same regard.
It is time for “self reflection on our own biases that can consciously or subconsciously shape our behavior toward one another and keep women in their own vicious circle of inequality. Until we acknowledge that together we are stronger and better, we’ll forever be waiting for equality from a system that thrives on our mutual sabotage” (Brinded, 2017).
Ang, K. (2018). Why women are meaner to each other than men are to women. Moneyish.Retrieved from https://moneyish.com/ish/why-women-are-meaner-to-each-other-than-men-are-to-women/
Brinded, L. (2017). If Women Want Workplace Equality, We’ve Also Got to Stop Sabotaging Each Other. Quartz at Work. Retrieved from https://work.qz.com/1130181/queen-bee-syndrome-workplace-inequality-encourages-women-to-sabotage-one-another/