As if women didn't have enough problems (queen bees, the glass ceiling, creepy co-workers, and so many more): New research shows that even when we ask people of any gender how they feel about women, we can't get accurate answers. The dire studies don't even scratch the surface.
According to researchers at Germany's Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, we know it's bad to dismiss or deride women as a matter of course, which is why we pretend not to do it. But by using a method of asking indirectly on socially sensitive matters, the researchers discovered some disheartening numbers about how we view female leaders. Twenty-three percent of respondents said they believed women were less capable leaders than men when questions were posed directly; that number rose to a full 37 percent for the indirect method.
It gets more frustrating: When assured full confidentiality, 28 percent of female respondents and 45 percent of male respondents agreed that women were less capable leaders than men. The researchers believe that gender gap comes down to a sense of solidarity among the women.
Other research backs up this aggravating trend. Earlier this year, psychologists found that even letters of recommendation can be more fraught for women than men. Fortunately, there's a simple way to prove everyone wrong about women's capacity for leadership: Let them run the show. The so-called "queen bee syndrome" may not even be real, because there's evidence that when women are in charge, more women get to be in charge.