PUBLISHED: 15:04 EST, 13 June 2012 | UPDATED: 15:45 EST, 13 June 2012
Backed by years of research, the idea of Queen Bee syndrome, which suggests woman in a position of authority will treat subordinates more critically if they are female, has long held prominence in society.
However, a new study by Catalyst found that women are actually more likely than other men to help female coworkers advance their careers.
The survey reported that most women are not, in fact, undermining other women to get ahead, instead they seem to be viewing less experienced females as potential talent, and are developing that talent through informal or formal mentorship.
According to the survey, 65per cent of women who received career development support themselves are now helping to ‘pay it forward’ by mentoring promising employees, compared to 56per cent of men.
It seems that of the mentoring women, 73per cent are helping fellow females, as opposed to only 30per cent of men.
Ilene H. Lang, President & CEO of Catalyst said: ‘This report dispels the misconception that women’s career advancement lags behind men’s because they don’t pay it forward to other women.
‘It shows that women are in fact actively helping each other succeed.The notion that women executives are Queen Bees who are unwilling to support other women needs to be put to rest.’
Catalyst’s researchers followed the career development of 742 male and female ‘high potential’ MBA graduates, who worked across a number of different fields from 2008 to 2010.
The researchers questioned these graduates about the career help that they had received over the years, including both informal mentorship and more formal ‘sponsorship,’ where young workers have a high-powered colleague actively fighting for their career advancement.
That most high-level career women do not actually feel threatened by successful female coworkers, failing to promote more of them to the top, is promising news to many.
However, Catalyst, a non-profit organisation that focuses on expanding opportunities for women in the workplace, fails to highlight, or expand on the 35per cent of women who are still reluctant to help their female coworkers.