A new study by the Columbia Business School debunks the Queen Bee explanation for gender inequality in the workplace. Far from giving other women a kick in the teeth, female CEOs are more likely to give their female colleagues a hand up.
The researchers looked at top management teams in 1,500 companies over a 20-year period and found that organisations with female CEOs appointed more women into senior positions.
The study uncovered an all together different - although not that surprising - explanation for gender inequality in senior levels in organisations. It’s called the Boys Club.
“Women face an implicit quota, whereby firms seek to maintain a small number of women on their top management team, usually only one," wrote the research team. "While firms gain legitimacy from having women in top management, the value of this legitimacy declines with each woman.”
This may be one reason why the mythology of the professional catfight remains so strong. When there’s only room for one or two women at the top of an organisation, women will inevitably be competing with other women for the scarce spots.
It also illustrates just how far we haven’t come. When the term ‘Queen Bee Syndrome’ - yes, apparently it was a 'syndrome’ - was coined in the 1970s in Psychology Today, it was said to be the result of women competing for limited positions of authority in male hierarchies. Forty years later and women are still competing for the scraps.
Source and rest: dailylife.com.au.