We Asked, You Answered: How Do Women Really Feel About the Word "Bossy"?

SheSpeaksTeam By SheSpeaksTeam 04.21.14
We Asked, You Answered: How Do Women Really Feel About the Word

A few weeks ago, after we took sight of the Ban Bossy campaign, we asked SheSpeaks members how they really felt about the word “bossy” and about Sheryl Sandberg’s campaign to ban the word from our vocabulary to protect young girls. 

You spoke, we listened, and so did the press!  What you told us was very interesting, and here are some of the results:

  • 55% of women think being bossy can damage a man’s career -  yet only 51% say it can damage a woman’s career
  • A minority (23%) of respondents “somewhat” or “strongly” believe that “bossiness” is, in general, a positive leadership quality
  • The number of women who do and do not recall being called “bossy” is identical at 44%
  •  Yet a majority (52%) of those who heard the word say it had no effect on them, and 17% even say it made them feel empowered
Our CEO, Aliza Freud, addressed the debate head on, in a piece that went live on Media Bistro’s PR Newser, and summarized some key points:
Aliza Freud, Founder and CEO of SheSpeaks
"It’s clear that women believe there is a double standard regarding what they need to achieve in the workplace, and that they have to work harder than men do to get ahead.  This sentiment is reflected in their opinion that women need ambition (75% women vs. 66% of men), strong negotiation skills (67% vs. 60% for men), a strong network (64% vs. 53% for men) and an advanced degree (60% vs. 47% for men)."

"However, only 2% of women believe that being bossy is a good leadership quality for men, and 6% say it is a good leadership quality for women. So we’re seeing that women are consistent in believing that bossiness is a poor quality for female and male leaders."

"The bottom line is that women perceive that they will need to work that much harder and be that much better, because they are still working at a deficit to men."
Check out the article to read the rest of what Aliza had to say about the study.


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  • nancyann43 By nancyann43

    Eye Opning

  • ChattyPattysPlace By ChattyPattysPlace

    Interesting. I personally do not see the word Bossy as a negative word when it comes to the work area.

  • mandy22q By mandy22q

    Love this I thought wow what a impressive women to start a online company like she speaks. Great article.

  • dogtrainer By dogtrainer

    Good information!

  • shaktimom By shaktimom

    Good article.

  • crisyk By crisyk

    Interesting. Thanks

  • adcock500 By adcock500

    I enjoyed reading this article, thanks

  • Sheba1 By Sheba1

    Interesting article, thanks for sharing.

  • favenez By favenez


  • Denisegrnk By Denisegrnk

    Good Read! Thanks

  • happi23 By happi23

    great read

  • smartlady By smartlady

    Good article.

  • eltinterodemama By eltinterodemama

    que interesante!. Gracias por la encuesta!

  • tinamyers By tinamyers

    Thank you for the results of the survey polls.

  • SapphireStar By SapphireStar

    Thank you for the article.

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