Scientific article
Open access

Nothing changes, really: why women who break through the glass ceiling end up reinforcing it

Published inPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin, vol. 43, no. 5, p. 638-651
Publication date2017

Two correlational studies conducted in Switzerland (N = 222) and Albania (N = 156) explained the opposition of female managers to gender quotas by examining the origins and consequences of the “Queen Bee (QB)-phenomenon,” whereby women who have been successful in male-dominated organizations do not support the advancement of junior women. Results disconfirm previous accounts of the QB-phenomenon as indicating competitiveness among women. Instead, the tendency of women managers to consider themselves as different from other women, and their opposition to gender quotas, emerged when junior women were addressed but not when they considered their direct competitors, other women managers. Personal sacrifices women managers reported having made for career success predicted self-distancing from junior women and opposition to gender quotas targeting these women. We provide a more nuanced picture of what the QBresponse is really about, explaining why women managers oppose quotas for junior women, while supporting quotas for women in the same rank.

  • Glass ceiling
  • Queen Bee-phenomenon
  • Gender quotas
Citation (ISO format)
FANIKO, Klea et al. Nothing changes, really: why women who break through the glass ceiling end up reinforcing it. In: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2017, vol. 43, n° 5, p. 638–651. doi: 10.1177/0146167217695551
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0146-1672

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