women carving out a career in a male-dominated environment might expect there is one thing guaranteed to work in their favor – a female boss. but studies suggest that it is more likely to wreck other women's promotion prospects. women who do break through the glass ceiling are more likely to help out their male subordinates than female ones.
research shows men who report to a female manager get much more mentoring and support than their female colleagues. the findings, published in the journal social science research, add to previous evidence that so-called queen bee syndrome can be a major obstacle to women climbing the managerial ladder.
far from encouraging other ambitious women, psychologists at the university of cincinnati found female bosses are more inclined to obstruct them. as well as the unwanted competition, researchers think this may partly be due to the fact women occupying senior posts want to blend in as much as possible with their male counterparts.
the latest study, which is based on responses from more than 2,000 employees in the us, backs up earlier research showing queen bee syndrome can affect work-related health. in 2008 german researchers reported women who answered to a female supervisor suffered more depression, insomnia, headaches and heartburn than if their boss was a man.
and a british survey last year showed two-thirds of women preferred a male boss as they are straight-talking, less likely to talk about staff behind their backs and not prone to mood swings.