There are many uncomfortable with the idea of female villains. They will tolerate such if the character is somehow a victim. Perhaps her heart was broken or she is a pawn for love. She may be evil but only in spoof. She may be violent but only in slapstick. Whether as victim or joke she is never to be taken seriously.
I have yet to meet a woman uncomfortable with the idea of female villains. On the contrary: it is female protagonists they have problems with. I often hear them snicker at these heroines that are sheer male fantasy or male characters in female form.
A “female empowerment” character is always shallow. The propaganda may rouse obligatory praise but honestly: a politically motivated caricature is not an endearing personality. Ironically, more often than not, the “empowered” character is a male fantasy dominatrix.
Female villains: As bosses they may be sympathetic victims or cackling clowns. As goons they may be pummeled or otherwise subdued but never slain. What would our male characters amount to under such restrictions? Saruman and the Joker would be boring indeed. The Imperial Stormtrooper would be a forgettable silliness.
Bosses: the White Witch in the Chronicles of Narnia, Diana in the 80s television show V and the Amazon Penthesilea of Classical Mythology. Goons: the anonymous Amazon of Classical Mythology and the Nurse of Silent Hill.
Female villains may be silly or serious. They may be sympathetic victims, cackling clowns or ruthless killers. They may be pummeled in slapstick or killed in gritty action. So long as they are not marginalized for being female, all is well.