When a man asserts his viewpoint and autonomy strongly, he is considered a competent and firm leader. But when a woman exhibits similar leadership qualities, she is labelled an overbearing, brusque ‘bitch’. A lot has changed over the years, but it is only because of these unfair and conventional perceptions that women are struggling to serve C.E.O.sO.s in Fortune 500 companies even today.
So, how can women leaders break through the ‘boss bitch’ ceiling? How will it be possible for them to manage gender expectations and still climb the corporate ladder successfully? Let us dig into the details.
What Is a ‘Boss Bitch’?
A boss bitch is a successful, independent, and confident woman who always stands for what she believes in and speaks as per her mind. She is 100% real with every individual, sets the proper boundaries and is never afraid to go after the things she desires.
Boss bitches are fierce, courageous, and unique women leaders with big dreams, and they always work for the empowerment of women and the betterment of all individuals around them. These make them highly influential leaders, mentors, and role models for other women.
Besides being fierce and intimidating, she is caring and loving. She will not just be your confidante but your cheerleader, guiding you every step of the way.
What Challenges Do Boss Bitches Face?
During the last 50 years, boss bitches or professional women leaders have taken over some significant hurdles in the business world. So, what challenges do boss bitches face? There are quite a few, such as:
Sexism, whether it is overt or veiled, holds women leaders back. Inequitable work environments and sexual harassment significantly burden boss bitches working towards attaining their goals. For instance, when women leaders are constantly disturbed or considered administrative assistants at board meetings, it affects their mental health and thus stalls their progress.
- Stereotyping and Gender Bias
Stereotyping and gender bias are other factors that work against the leadership aspirations of women leaders. Employers find the assertive behaviour of men in the workplace robust, direct, and commanding. But when women display the same assertiveness, employers find them shrill, pushy, and aggressive.
Further, if the behaviour of a woman leader does not align with gender stereotypes, she often faces backlash and is also considered less competitive than her male counterpart. Women also tend to use less powerful techniques when seeking promotions – they do this out of the concern that they might encounter stereotyping and gender bias. But in doing so, they slow down their progress to higher leadership levels.
- Restricted Access to Well-Established Networks
Formal and informal social activities, like happy hours or golf, often leave women leaders out. That’s not because women cannot join but because men simply do not offer them the same invitation to join these activities that they would give to male leaders. In turn, women leaders miss out on the chance to build relationships and rapport that can help them with career advancement.
Women leaders often experience restricted access to the well-established networks in which male leaders often participate. It makes women outsiders and even hinders their ability to communicate, belong, and establish themselves as equals with their male bosses and colleagues.
- Less Developed Women Leadership Networks
Since men have always dominated the workplace, there are less developed networks for women leaders, which play an essential role in sponsoring and mentoring female talent. Some women leadership networks also provide formal presentations about strategies to follow up in business. But the problem is that women leaders do not have much access to such networks.
- Family Responsibilities
Even family responsibilities can make it difficult for women leaders to pursue their positions. Even though women leaders with kids at home may spend more time than the fathers on household labour, they do not have access to workplace flexibility or paid leave. This imbalance affects their finances and advancement because this might require them to make several personal sacrifices.
How Can Boss Bitches Overcome These Challenges?
Can boss bitches overcome these challenges?
Yes, they can. It is possible by leveraging different strategies, such as the following.
- Female leadership programs offering supportive communities allow women leaders to communicate with others. These programs offer professional women more significant insights into problems and even provide solutions and strategies.
- Sponsorship and mentorship programs are crucial for women leaders looking to advance in their careers. Different mentors share the techniques and tricks they have learned, encouraging and building confidence in these leaders. Moreover, sponsors and professionals at influential positions offer women leaders high-stake assignments that give them the chance to shine.
- Women leaders can collaborate closely with their allies and human resources to influence company policies and promote equity.
How Does the Mental Health of Boss Bitches Get Affected Due to These Challenges?
Stereotypes and gender bias are still prevalent in workplaces. Additionally, as per new research, overt and subtle tendencies place boss bitches at a higher risk of compromised mental health and depression than their male counterparts, which requires a proper solution.
Study findings from the University of Texas say that the ability to fire, hire and influence pay scales increases the signs of depression and mental health issues among women – something that was not common in men.
Boss bitches are evaluated based on performance, while men are evaluated based on their accomplishments. Such day-to-day inequalities and interactions can get exhausting, resulting in a pattern of compromised mental health among women leaders.
Despite the exclusive challenges that boss bitches encounter, they continue to push through the barriers and serve their mission while reaching their full potential. But we understand that these challenges put a lot of pressure on them. It is not untoward to feel low or depressed when fighting all these challenges day after day, which requires them to need professional mental help and guidance.
For that, they can visit United We Care, online mental health therapy and wellness platform that offers professional guidance on combating emotional and mental challenges. Here, we have expert therapists and counsellors who can assess their issues and treat them properly to achieve their professional objectives. We also have different therapies based on mindfulness and meditation that can help calm the mind for better focus on one’s problems. We also offer counselling with sleep therapy, which can help them sleep better at night and go to work with a fresh, relaxed, and rejuvenated mind.