Scientific article
Open access

Queen bees and alpha males: are successful women more competitive than successful men?

Published inEuropean Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 46, no. 7, p. 903-913
Publication date2016

Two studies carried out in Switzerland examined different explanations for the “Queen Bee (QB)-phenomenon.” In Study 1 (N= 315), female managers (vs. subordinates) identifiedwith successful women and supportedmeasures that would benefit these women—even though they are their direct competitors. However, they were disinclined to identify with women who put their family first, viewed themselves as different (more masculine) than junior women, and were reluctant to endorse measures to support them. Study 2 (N=277) compared QB-responses of women to Alpha Male (AM) responses of men. We found evidence of QB and AM effects: both female and male managers rated their own masculinity as higher than that of same-gender junior colleagues. Compared to their male colleagues, women in managerial positions were more inclined to identify with successful same-gender colleagues. This counters explanations for the QBeffect as being due to increased competitiveness of successful women.

  • Queen bee
  • Gender
Citation (ISO format)
FANIKO, Klea, ELLEMERS, Naomi, DERKS, Belle. Queen bees and alpha males: are successful women more competitive than successful men? In: European Journal of Social Psychology, 2016, vol. 46, n° 7, p. 903–913. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2198
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0046-2772

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