Not All Queen Bee’s Are Beyonce

Queen Bee’s are what’s wrong with the world today.

Ok – that is an overstatement, but they sure are one of the things that are wrong with this world. One of the many, many, many, many things.

A Queen Bee is a – as put by the Atlantic – “female sex that causes women to undermine each other on the job all the time” (read: Why women don’t sometimes help each other). Some people claim that’s because these women have felt sexism in the past and despite all efforts to undermine them, they made it to the top. Now they don’t want another woman to have it easier.

My friend Jenna worked for a female boss, lets call her Janice, who took her under her wing when Jenna started her first job out of college. Jenna looked up to Janice and liked having someone to look out for her, especially in a company with only 20% female staff. Jenna once told me: “I got an amazing performance review in July. My boss Janice told me her boss had even noticed I was doing well, and suggested I take over more and more of her tasks to gain responsibility”.

So, Jenna took over more and more tasks from Janice and noticed Janice be more passive aggressive to her. At one meeting where Jenna was asked a question – Janice snorted at her. By the end of the year, in only 4 months Jenna moved from a top employee to “barely meeting expectations”.

When Jenna asked what was the reason for this, Janice said: “Well, sometimes you make yourself look stupid. And it’s not professional”.

Jenna was disappointed and confused. Needless to say, only months later she took a job somewhere else.

So the question is – to you readers – what do you do with a Queen Bee? How do you handle one, if you don’t want to quit your job? How do you point out you are being mistreated because you are a woman like her. Because the problem is, when you do point it out, you remind them of the inadequacy they feel inside. If you are a proud, confident, strong woman, why would you feel the need to bring others down?

I think its in the culture. If the company or environment breathes diversity, it cannot feed into the Queen Bee’s fear. Making it easier for all – no matter what gender you are – to achieve success – makes it, easier for all to achieve success.

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