Research undertaken in the USA in the 1970s discovered that many women who were successful in business denied the difficulties faced by women in management and were reluctant to assist other women. Researchers labelled this phenomenon the “queen bee” syndrome. This paper investigates the views of senior management women in Australia on the barriers women face in management and their willingness to assist other women into senior management positions. Forty‐one senior management women were interviewed in Sydney. Content analysis was conducted on the responses and four broad categories were developed: “conservatives”, “moderates”, “reluctant feminists” and “definite feminists”. Two‐thirds of respondents fell into categories representing women who did not hold views resembling those of “queen bees”. The remaining one‐third of the women interviewed fell into the two categories that most closely resembled “queen bees”. The fact that a minority of senior management women resembled “queen bees” challenges the myth that senior management women are reluctant to assist other women in the workplace. On the other hand, the results show that not all senior management women will support other women in the workplace.
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