When Good Women Make Bad Bosses

Gender Influences in the Office

Sometimes great women make horrible bosses. This can happen within any industry and field and truly depends on how a woman conducts herself within the office walls. Women tend to grow up more emotional than men and take comments and situations more seriously and to heart. While this is not a woman’s fault, it may cause some problems at the office.

Many women bosses try to hold their own within the office by acting more masculine and taking on the role of a classic male boss. They attempt to distance themselves by being more of an ice queen, acting strict and impersonal. This may work in some cases, but more often than not it just creates confusion in the workplace and may put some people off about working under this type of boss. It is important to hold a balance when leading a team, to work with others and still guide and direct colleagues appropriately. The Ice Queen personality still exists now and female bosses that try to maintain this status are intelligent, capable and sometimes ‘scary’ women.

Fear used to be used by many male bosses throughout the years, but now it doesn’t seem to be effective. Some leading CEOs and presidents in their 50’s or 60’s might still try to use fear as a way of pushing colleagues forward. The Ice Queen is not the solution for a good woman and may be a tad bit too extreme.

Good women make bad bosses when they allow their feelings or insecurities to take over. When emotions, competition or even jealousy runs high in the workplace, many problems may occur. Problems such as decreased motivation in the staff, loss of employees, increased sick days taken and overall grudges may develop. How can a team work well together if all of these emotions are rolling around? When the lines between leader and coworker are blurred or if employees feel betrayed or hurt, the production level in the office sinks.

A sample of a blurred boss and coworker relationship would be when a fellow colleague that shares your work day gets promoted. The colleagues then view this individual as their boss and they may distant themselves greatly. This may feel extremely uncomfortable for the new female boss and she may attempt to keep the relationships just as they were. This may include after work happy hour drinks, lunches at the girls’ favorite café and other activities that involve more intimate moments with employees. Simply put, this cannot remain the same if a female boss wants to be valued and respected for her knowledge and experience. If the lines seem to remain blurry there may not be any respect between employee and the employer.  This can greatly damage the motivation and daily production within an office. There has to be a fine line. Psychic Shyla ext. 5431 often says, “We teach people how to treat us.”

Managing emotional distances is imperative for female bosses. It is a smart idea for a female boss to know her team, but also stay distant enough to be their leader.

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9 thoughts on “When Good Women Make Bad Bosses

  1. nitty

    i somewhat agree with the article to some extent. women are very emotional and this helps them a lot to be clairvoyant.
    however i tend to disagree when we are told to be that “icy” queen… because anybody can be icy and rule . what’s the point there? at the end we are left with frustrated people.
    for women it is twice as hard to be a boss. first she has to prove herself she can do it and second she has to prove to others that she worth her place.
    for men in general it is said and automatically accepted.
    women have an interior force. men like women have to know that line of demarcation, when to be friendly and when to be the boss…

  2. Halo

    I had a lady boss, Only thing I will say before having a lady boss I use to respect ladies but after having a lady boss, I will never ever like to work for a woman boss…

  3. pat

    Yes, I agree after many years of having women for bosses, I find that the ones who are not putting on the ice act are able to relate and create better motivation from staff. as we all know, women who act too strong are often labeled with the B word, and people start to resent that. this is not putting women down, just letting you know that this can be a problem for some women not all. good communication with your boss, and mutual respect can go a long way.

  4. Carmen Knopfette Honacker

    I’m sorry, but I disagree with this article. Bad bosses have nothing to do with gender, but everything with having the right stuff, like Suba pointed out! I have always said that great managers/leaders are born, not created. Yes, you can learn many skills, but you can’t learn how to inspire people. That is something that comes from within and tends to be more of a calling, versus a job.

  5. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Great article !!!!!

    The workplace is simply that…..it’s there for work…not drama and a three-ring circus.

  6. suba

    LEADERSHIP IS A NATURAL QUALITY AND IS BORN IN; while it can be cultivated, it is really part of a persona; to see problems / see solutions/ understand the big picture/ the people and the limits; lead by example ; motivate with recognition and encourage people to develop themselves; TEAM WORK; sounds easy; yet about 90 percent of managers are not mentally correct for their jobs; managers must have a mindset that works; not just be the best at something / get a promotion into a thing they really are uncomfortable doing; A REAL LEADER IS COMFORTABLE AND CAPABLE IN THIS ROLE; IT GIVES HER NATURAL SKILLS A PLACE TO MOVE; MANAGEMENT OF OTHERS SHOULD BE EASY FOR HER; EVEN THE DIFFICULT ONES; that is why i am now self employed ; and i love my boss- me! hahahaha;

  7. Natasha

    how very true. Coming from a male dominated area “Shipping” & being the Crew manager it does get hard not to get too emotional with my job & staff & seafarers. Even being the icy woman just isn’t me. I read your msg & will try to put into practise of this.
    thanks again. very good.


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