Having fought their way into the boardroom they are a match for any man.
But a study has shown that when women bosses try to 'act like a man' and copy aggressive management styles it actually has the opposite effect - with staff working under so-called 'alpha females' less likely to co-operate to get results.
Researchers at the University of London found that women in the boardroom who suppress their natural skills in dealing with people can become confrontational, and would fare better from drawing on typical feminine qualities of sensitivity and good communication.
Alpha female: A new study reveals that to get better results women, instead of striving to be like men in the workplace, should draw on their inherent qualities
The researchers studied the management styles of senior professionals within five NHS hospitals but say their findings could be applied to any profession.
Their results showed that some senior female managers had moved away from what was called 'healthy assertiveness' and were instead attempting to 'emulate aggressive male models'.
Findings: The study showed more aggressive women annoyed colleagues and achieved less
Professor Paula Nicolson, from the University of London, said: 'The best managers had more 'emotional intelligence'.
But women who were trying to behave like they thought men behaved were the ones who got it wrong.
'It’s almost like women feel they must 'act like a man' and overly develop traits often associated with power-hungry City traders.
'This is understandable, because previously leaders have been male.
'But women's leadership style ought to come into its own when dealing with people and displaying skills in communication, judgment, sensitivity and psychological insight – all traits needed to be a good leader.'
WHEN ARE YOU MOST STRESSED?
The most stressful time of the day for modern mothers is 5.55pm, say researchers
That is the point when they are usually rushing around trying to cook dinner in time to ferry the children to their after-school clubs.
Bathtime, at 7.15pm, was the second most stressful point in a mother’s day, with the children’s bedtime at 8.45pm coming third.
The school run, around 8.20am, was fourth.
The study of 2,000 mothers, commissioned by bathroom retailer Betterbathrooms.com, also found that more than half of mothers lose their temper at some point during the day.
A similar number confessed to serving up unhealthy food because they didn’t have the time to cook something from scratch.