The firing of Ms. Abramson, the resignation of Ms. Nougayrède, and the removal of Ms. Glasser are wake-up calls that women leaders who demonstrate assertiveness and a confident mastery of their field are viewed as brash, pushy, bossy, overbearing. Patronizing peers or bosses might call them unladylike or say that their behavior is "unbecoming."
Research and experience point to the double standard we use to evaluate leaders. Men have a broader range of accepted behaviors than women do. Men can be viewed highly when they forcefully assert their point of view and their authority. They are being strong, competent leaders. Women who demonstrate these behaviors are not seen as strong competent leaders; they are seen as problems.