Are Women Caught in a Vicious Circle?

What is seldom debated as a factor in the slow progression of women in leadership is female executives’ negative attitude towards other women in business. Women who occupy high-ranking position, deliberately or unintentionally, create road blocks for other women who aspire to become leaders. This prejudice is known as the “Queen Bee Syndrome (QB)”. Women with QB syndrome were found to be more ruthless towards women than men and less empathetic about other women’s aspirations. And, their disloyalty to subordinate women seems to be driven by a determination to overly protect their positions at the top of the organization. Consequently, women executives with QB syndrome may be perpetuating a phenomenon that slows the speed at which women can ascend to leadership.

To propel more women to the top of the organization, women executives must mentor subordinate women to become leaders. This means that women executives with the QB syndrome would have to abandon their insecurity, fear and paranoia of losing their positions to other ambitious women. More importantly, they must let go of the belief that because they’ve struggled to acquire a place at the top, other women with similar ambitions should struggle as well. Women, who aspire to become leaders, need mentorship and the support of female executives, who have overcome barriers, and can guide them to achieve success.


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