Do Office Queen Bees Get Their Sting from Sexism?

Study shows women with masculine leadership styles have faced gender issues in the workplace.

By Lesley Kennedy • Reporter

Is there a queen bee buzzing around your office? You know, the female boss who seems to shun the other women in the office?

Turns out there’s a method to her meanness. According to the website LiveScience, a new study finds it’s sexism in the workplace that’s to blame.

Researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands asked 63 senior women at Dutch police departments to answer questions about gender identity and discrimination at work, LiveScience reports. They were also asked about their style of leadership, whether they saw themselves differently from other female coworkers and if gender bias was a cause for concern.

The results? Women who identified less with other women at work were queen bees and practiced masculine leadership styles. Women who identified strongly with female coworkers, however, said they wanted to mentor other women.

So listen up, queen bees: It doesn’t have to be lonely at the top. Having another woman to share your honey with? You might find that's pretty darn sweet.

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First Published June 22, 2011

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