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Journal cover: Women In Management Review

Women In Management Review

ISSN: 0964-9425
Currently published as: Gender in Management: An International Journal

Online from: 1985

Subject Area: Human Resource Management

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Venus envy: problematizing solidarity behaviour and queen bees

Document Information:
Title:Venus envy: problematizing solidarity behaviour and queen bees
Author(s):Sharon Mavin, (Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Citation:Sharon Mavin, (2006) "Venus envy: problematizing solidarity behaviour and queen bees", Women In Management Review, Vol. 21 Iss: 4, pp.264 - 276
Keywords:Affirmative action, Glass ceiling, Intergroup relations, Sexual discrimination, Women, Women executives
Article type:Conceptual paper
DOI:10.1108/09649420610666579 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – Aims to critique solidarity behaviour as a means of advancing women in management; questions the queen bee concept and raises negative relations between women.

Design/methodology/approach – Conceptual paper which critiques extant research and approaches to advancing women in management identifying alternative perspectives.

Findings – Assumptions of solidarity behaviour set expectations of senior women which cannot be fulfilled. Continued use of the unproblematized queen bee label, without acknowledgement of the embedded gendered context for women in senior management, perpetuates a “blame the woman” perspective as a “one-woman responsibility”. Emerging from the gendered nature of organization, female misogyny may be a means of exploring negative relations between women to challenge existing gendered organizations which sustain the status quo.

Research limitations/implications – Mediates recommendations of senior women as mentors and role models, whilst blaming them for being more male than men, by calling for action to challenge and change the gendered social order which impacts on women in management. Empirical research is required.

Originality/value – Considers the impact of negative relations between women to highlight how the gendered social order encourages and exacerbates differences between women; challenges assumptions of solidarity behaviour and problematizes the queen bee label.

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