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Why Women Find it Harder Working for a Queen Bee Than a Male Boss

Why Women Find it Harder Working for a Queen Bee Than a Male Boss

The devil really does wear Prada: Fashion magazine editor and Queen Bee Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) was an insufferable boss to assistant Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) in the film The Devil Wears Prada

Daniel Martin | The Daily Mail

September 24, 2008

What with the glass ceiling, the wages and the child care difficulties it’s not as if the problems women face in the workplace haven’t been well-documented.

Now there’s a major, and somewhat unexpected, addition to the list – the female boss.

University researchers say women who have to answer to a female supervisor feel more stressed than if their superior is male.

They suffer from far more depression, insomnia, headaches and heartburn than if their boss is a man.

But for male workers, the sex of their manager makes no difference.

The Canadian team, which studied 1,800 U.S. workers, reckoned the explanation could lie in Queen Bee syndrome, in which successful women do not like to be surrounded by competitors of the same sex.

The University of Toronto scientists also suggested that many females do not like to be led by women because they see leadership as a traditionally male role.

Karensmyth_max200w_max200w

Karen Smyth was driven out of her job by a ‘jealous’ woman boss. A study says women feel more stressed if their superior is female

This could be the reason why U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton failed to get her party’s nomination – or why Segolene Royal lost last year’s French presidential election.

For the research, stress levels and the physical health of workers were compared in three situations: working for one male boss, for one female boss, and those working for one of each.

The study found that women who have a lone female supervisor suffer far more than those who have a male boss.

They reported more psychological distress (such as trouble sleeping, difficulty focusing on work, depression and anxiety) and physical symptoms (like headaches, stomach pain or heartburn, neck and back pain, and tiredness).

But women who worked for a lone male supervisor had far fewer symptoms.

And those who worked for one of each were somewhere in the middle.

For the male workers, however, there was no difference in level of distress, no matter whether his boss was male or female.


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    slym86

    over 5 years ago

    6 comments

    this study is absolutly so true, i have had such an experience with my ex boss, who felt i was just too pretty to be taken seriously, she always had a problem with my shoes,and hair.i got so tired of her naggin me, i had to quit.i don,t understand why females are so jealous. i have never had issues with the males.

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    Account Removed

    almost 6 years ago

    I don't believe this article is trying to nail down facts, just offering observations. I have had several experiences working for female supervisors, and whether or not it is a bad situation, it definitely creates a different dynamic. But I must agree I've had several poor experiences with female bosses. Acting like your chatty best friend one day then giving you the cold shoulder the next, leaving you to wonder, "Did I do something she found offensive, or has she just failed to check a bad day at the door?" Although I don't have a female boss at the moment, I believe completely that this problem exists, and would love to find ways to work towards resolving it.

  • Coz_jane_on_beach_2_max50

    Heres_Hoping08

    almost 6 years ago

    36 comments

    I've have both experiences. In the same job I worked very well with my supervisor. She left, and her replacement was another woman. The replacement was the opposite. She didn't want me to be her secretary, but the organization was too small to find a replacement. She used tactics that I later found in a book for business women. She made my life quite miserable to the point where I had to leave. Luckily, I found work in a different area at better pay.

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    Daliynx

    almost 6 years ago

    4 comments

    I have a female boss who stationed me in her office for 8 months. Immediately I noticed she told me too many personal details, like how sore she was from sex, and I felt like it wasn't professional. She also asked into my personal life a lot, as if gathering gossip... However she helped me get a raise when I was suddenly looking for a place to live and suffering domestic abuse in the place I was staying at. (She noticed the bruise on my face) She even surprised me with a paid day from work to get my hair done at her salon and bought me 500 dollars worth of make up to look like success.... Then she started traveling a lot and another female supervisor swooped in and convinced her to move me to under her control. It was a power grab, and I was heartbroken but I think it was more of a business decision that a personal one.
    The owner of the company is male, but he has freely acknowledged that he employs a lot of strong women so he doesn't make any decisions anymore...His wife is accountant, a woman is VP of sales and marketing, a woman is director of operations, a woman is billing, a woman runs production, his Mother helps with production, a woman assists the lead in R & D, a woman is Quality Control manager... So if anybody knows about working with women, its me.

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    worknit

    almost 6 years ago

    10 comments

    I had about five paragraphs on this subject and I could have gone on for another five when I realized that it is very difficult to fix a situation with a bad boss be they male or female. I have little preference to gender rather the character of that person. Pigeon hole as much as you would like, human ineptitudes, bad values, corrupt morals, and lack of generosities are failures abundant in both genders.

    If your people do not work together from the top down. If your departments do not effectively communicate and combine efforts for the bottom line your, if your intensions are shady employment endevors can not be long term successful. The gender of the management team has little bearing. Communication, transparency, an outlined discription of why YOU are receiving that paycheck, honest collaboration between departments to achieve the bottom line and that bad egg will not survive. Of course no one is as interested in your personal sucesses as you are but most positions are rather routine and blan for the majority of your day the outstanding accomplishments come with timing, attitude, support, discretion and tenacity and sometimes that doesn't help. Always support your actions. Be honest with your motivations and document your activities.

    Afterall if you don't have the correct blended ingredients and a good foundation it doesn't matter how much time and effort you put into that stew it's still gonna suck and no one said it would be a cake walk to cook. Oh I'm sorry but I couldn't help that last one.

  • 07_16_06_1849_edited_max50

    gigi123

    almost 6 years ago

    4 comments

    I really didn't find any real facts here. I have had 4 female bosses in this male dominated career field (military) and only ONE I can honestly say didn't particularly care for me. People in the office felt the "hostility" she had towards me. I think it had to do w/ my multi-racial background but that's just my opinion; I mean it was these references she made towards females who were dark skinned were beautiful and the light skinned females "hmmpf" think their cute. Personally, it doesn't matter if my boss is male or female so long as they know how to do the job, unbiased, all about doing the job right and leave all their personal issues out of the workplace things will run ok.

  • Barb_max50

    blagg427

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Having had both men and women bosses, I clearly prefer men. There was one excellent, intelligent, professional and secure woman I worked under. She was the best. Others including the horrible woman who is now my district manager is beyond intolerable. She bullies all the women under her. She is unattractive, mistakenly thinks she is liked , and is inconsistent in her dealings. I have to believe that she is insecure, unloved, and just plain miserable. She then makes all the wiomen under her miserable as well.
    My New Year's resolution is to have her fired. I will systematically encourage each woman that has complained about her treatment of them to file a harrassment complaint with our HR department. I may even go so far as to get her job. Karma!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    user77

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Your article isn't really clear just how bad it can get when women have power and control I would much rather work for a man who has the job on his mind than a woman who has her insecurities on her mind. I never have had a problem working for a man but put a woman in charge of me and , jealousy, lies, and the word used is putting things mildly. the abuse is just never ending and I still don't know why people who have these mental problems are allowed to be in charge of anything especially themselves.
    It is not about a man being the traditional role in supervision it is about personality and if you have a lousy one maybe you don't belong being around anyone EVER!!!

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    StormKnight

    almost 6 years ago

    136 comments

    I will not discredit the article but I think that the issues run a little deeper than what's given. I've worked for females and have been a female in charge. As a female in charge and in submission I found it to be easier to work with men than with women and I attribute that to women running around acting like they still have something to prove. (I've had a few crappy male bosses too but not like the femmes) I served in the Army and was over 6 men, any one of which could have picked me up and tossed me somewhere. I noticed we were having some problems and so I had a heart to heart with my guys and I'll never forget what Scottie said to me: " Sgt Knight you do a great job, you run a tight ship and we like that. It just feels like sometimes you forget we're on your side too. I mean...nobody likes a b**ch in brass underwear. You're uncomfortable and you make everybodyelse uncomfortable... . " He said a lot more but I think you get it. Sure, as women we have things we have to deal with so deal but know your stuff and do your job and above all...Change Your Underwear.

  • Greenleaf_max50

    DancingQueen

    almost 6 years ago

    68 comments

    I used to work in an office with only women (and gay men). While I don't think ALL workplaces are this way, this one in particular felt like going back to high school. Drama-central. And I recall thinking that if only there were more men to balance out the estrogen, it would make for a much more comfortable and professional work environment. The back-stabbing, gossip, and personal-life-interfering-with-work was so severe. Never again!

  • July_2008_max50

    hhbb4

    almost 6 years ago

    14 comments

    I used to have a women supervisor (one that actually hired me)...and through the year and a half I worked for her, basically had her foot on my head. Similiar to the Karen Smyth story. I was a high achiever - had and developed better rapport with co-workers she was unable to...etc. When she left....it was the best thing that ever happend to my career! I was finally empowered and allowed to achieve.

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    morewithhoney

    almost 6 years ago

    2 comments

    In the past I have managed between 15 to 19 women at one time and my goodness, sometimes it was a real struggle. Some were firecrackers at what they did and others, well let's say, it depended on the day of the week! Some I had to tell them how good they were at their job on a daily basis in order for them to perform and others I just let them fly and do their job because they were professionals. I managed/mentored each of them to someday fill my position....some of them welcomed it and others hated it. I never took credit for their ideas and made sure that they got the recognition they deserved. I too have worked for women. I learned so much from most of them and took constructive comments to help me grow as a professional and as a woman in a man's world, however one I disliked with my every being. You get what you give. To earn respect, you must give RESPECT.

  • Belkis_ar02_max50

    Belkis

    about 6 years ago

    152 comments

    I have worked for both male and female bosses and honestly it all depends on their personality rather than gender. My first job, the supervisor was a female. The next year the supervisor was a male. I found that working with the male supervisor was more of a pleasure. Later, I worked in an office for both male and female bosses and both were terrible. I now currently work with a female and it has been a pleasure working with her.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Georgetta11

    about 6 years ago

    34 comments

    women bosses are worse

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Georgetta11

    about 6 years ago

    34 comments

    yes women are more of a problem to work for . One she is thretened by the same sex, the other is when a women make it to Queen Bee status she think every women is suppose to have her attitude as far as making it , (they look down on women who are there same age and not at there level.) . So yes working for a women is crazy. But also it has it's benefits women understand more issuses like if a women has server cramps and unable to make it she understand als long as it is not a habit

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