Free Sample on "Bossy: What's Gender Got to Do with it?"

Published: 2022-12-05
Free Sample on "Bossy: What's Gender Got to Do with it?"
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Gender Personal leadership
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 959 words
8 min read

For the longest time, the term bossy has been linked to women and girls who assert themselves during their performance in leadership roles. This is because from a tender age, girls are always taught and expected to be submissive and quiet and when they happen to break such gender norms, they are in most cases disliked, criticized and called bossy(Clerkin et al. 2). It can be established that the usage of the word bossy is gendered and often used on women than men. Generally, women are expected to be more collaborative, nurturing and kind as opposed to men who are expected to be commanding, assertive and direct. As a result, women are often penalized for asserting themselves with girls called names such as "know-it-all", or "pushy" while professional women deemed as "difficult" or "aggressive".

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Calling women or girls bossy and all other sorts of names when they tend to be assertive when performing their roles at work or at home, can discourage them from growing to be leaders or pursuing various leadership positions.


According to Clerkin et al, to ascertain the thesis statement that calling women bossy discourage them from growing to be leaders and pursuing various leadership positions, the following points were discussed in regards to the role of the word in the workplace (3).

Bossy is not a Label for Assertiveness and Executive Leadership Skills

Clarke et al. conducted a survey among 200 US leaders about whether being bossy portrays assertiveness and leadership skills and there were various definitions with the following key indicators of bossiness. They stated that being bossy involved micromanaging and prescription of specific actions by the people in leadership positions. They also stated that bossy people focused on authority power and status, they are rude and pushy towards others, they control others and dictate orders to be followed and ignore others perspectives. In their opinion, the word assertive was absent and instead the word bossy seemed too describe a pattern of poor interpersonal skills. In my opinion, as stated by Clarke et al., being bossy is totally a different way of leadership as far as being bold and executive leadership skills are concerned. Bossy is a label of dictatorship and always forcing things your way instead of doing things professionally and in accordance with specific leadership policies.

Women are Called Bossy More often than Men

Clarke et al. state that from their research and opinion, 33% of women reported that they have been called bossy in instances at work with only 17% of the men stating the same. In their opinion, they posit that women are twice likely to be called bossy at their workplace than men. They also posit that when leaders were asked to recall when they worked with someone they deemed "bossy," 48% of men were deemed bossy while 52% were reported to be women who were deemed "bossy". Even though various studies show that it is deemed normal when men take charge and occupy leadership positions, however, when women do so they are often considered as "bossy". In my opinion on whether women are called bossy more often than men, the branding of leaders as bossy cuts across both genders. This is because factors such as micromanagement of people, dictation of orders, being rude and pushy towards others are practised by both genders. This, therefore, depicts that so long as leaders have the above characters regardless of their gender, they would be called bossy.

Being Seen as Bossy Affect Men's and Women's Reputations

Clarke et al. posit that at work people have low opinions on bossy co-workers in relation to reputations. Both men and women bossy co-workers are unpopular, unlikable, and unsuccessful. However, they state that bossy women co-workers are unpopular as opposed to their male counterparts. From their survey, 32% of bossy women were seen as not popular at all while 19% of the men were on the same level. Bossy women are rated as less likely to have a successful career in future as opposed to bossy men. In summary, their opinion is that neither women nor men who are bossy are deemed as superstars in an organization and thus being bossy damages reputations of both men and women. However, in their opinion, the reputation of bossy women is hurt more than that of men. In my opinion about being bossy and its effect on reputation, both men and women who are bossy have a bad reputation. However, the reputation of bossy women is more likely to be damaged as opposed to the male counterpart. This is because the number of women in the leadership position is low as compared to that of men and therefore when a woman leader becomes bossy and her reputation damaged, she is more likely to become unpopular and unsuccessful as opposed to the bossy man since she would be criticized by both men her fellow women unlike in the case of a bossy man where only a few women will criticize since the culture and society deems it to be normal for a man to be bossy.


In summary, calling women bossy can negatively influence their leadership aspiration and ambitions since it is not a label of good and executive leadership skills and as well as assertiveness. Both men and women obsessed with power and have poor leadership skills are branded bossy. Being branded bossy in a leadership position has nothing to do with gender and therefore does not bur women's ambitions to pursue leadership positions. The reputation of women who are branded as bossy is more hurt than that of men deemed to be the same.

Work Cited

Clerkin, Cathleen, et al. "Bossy: What's Gender Got to Do with It?." Center for Creative Leadership, available at: http://insights. ccl. org/articles/white-papers/bossy-whats-gender-got-to-do-with-it/(accessed 7 March 2019) (2015).

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