Well, maybe not. A new study, reports Claire Zillman in Fortune, "found that women with job authority exhibit more depressive symptoms than women without job authority." Here is that article from Fortune.
So, the first-year female associate with no power might be in the catbird seat when it comes to mental health? Maybe not, either. Being without power is also emotionally corrosive.
The research for the study was done by Tetyanan Pudrovska of the University of Texas at Austin and Amelia Karraker from Iowa State University. It will be published next month in the American Sociological Association's Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
The why depression can happen is no surprise - at least to most professional women. They face the "double bind." They are expected to exude power and yet embody traditional emotional traits such as warmth, caring, and an intuitive grasp of all situations. Without the power force field, she is considered weak. Without the high emotional intelligence, she is considered a b____tch.
A classic example of this is playing out during the sixth season of "The Good Wife." Alicia Florrick has developed into a highly ambitious, manipulative female with a lot of authority. Eli, who is overseeing her campaign for state attorney, sees her as a b__tch. Her opponent Prady is three points ahead of her in the polls.
The double bind also presents an obstacle in creating supportive networks. It's easy for women in power to become isolated. Soon enough that becomes out-of-touch. The narrative which accompanies that is sustained gossip in the media about how alienated she is in the organization and how disliked.
One solution might be an executive coach to help create an acceptable persona. Another could be to search for a totally personal network which has nada to do with professional life. And a third is for women to get to like themselves, which might be the toughest challenge. What it took to arrive where they are likely entailed plenty of self-criticism.
It will be fascinating to observe if Alicia re-configures her persona in order to win the election. Among what she may have to ditch are the designer suits. I have been at jury trials where female law partners wore those kinds of pricey suits. I always wondered if they had thought that through.