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Are Strong Women Becoming a Threat to Men? Some Think So...

Are Strong Women Becoming a Threat to Men? Some Think So...
Leaders in the world of business have been traditionally men, but the picture is changing as more and more women assume management and leadership roles. What do men think of this? Many feel threatened, according to research.

How men feel threatened

In three different recent studies, men often demonstrated a negative reaction to a woman either in power or competing for the same position or benefits by exhibiting aggressive behavior.

Study 1: In this study, 76 men and women were told they were negotiating their salaries with a new employer. Half of them were told the new employer was a man, and the other half were told they were negotiating with a woman. The men who negotiated with a woman were far more aggressive in negotiations, including pushing for more counteroffers.

Study 2: In the second study, 68 men were told they were in a position for a $10,000 bonus, but they had to split it; some were told it was with a male colleague and others were told it was a female colleague. Men negotiating to split the bonus with another man were much more willing to share more of the bonus than those who thought they had to split the bonus with a female.

Study 3: Taking study 2 one step further, men became even more threatened and aggressive when they were told the female was ambitious, compared to their reaction when told the female was in an administrative role.

The bottom line

Unfortunately, the studies demonstrated that many men continue to feel threatened by strong women in the workplace. It also explains why women continue to have such a tough time moving up the ladder to assume leadership roles.

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