Working with bullies: When the ‘queen bee’ is being a B
A study has found that 70% of women have endured the sting of a queen bee boss
Most women are victimised by the “queen bee” in the workplace.
According to a study published in Development and Learning in Organisations, 70% of women have endured the sting of a queen bee boss, 33% had been on the receiving end of a woman on the same level or below being unhelpful, holding them back or undermining them.
London-based consultant Celicia Harvey, who conducted the survey, said queen bees should not be confused with strong, ambitious women in the workplace.“Queen Bees are women in the workplace that treat colleagues in a demoralising, undermining or bullying manner. They are adult versions of the mean girls from school – but now they have grown up and are more calculating,” she said.
Harvey – also the founder and chair of global showcase platform Tech Women Today and the founder of app Walking Red, said while the jury is still out on why queen bees exist – nearly 75% of the survey’s respondents thought the behavior stemmed from insecurity.
Others believed that the causes included feeling the need to be aggressive in order to be taken seriously, or even queen bees desiring to be the only “top” women.
“Queen bee Syndrome hinders the advancement of women in the workplace, as well as damaging productivity, profit and progress,” Harvey said.
She said addressing queen bee syndrome would help companies to improve efforts to advance women in the workplace.
“Management must develop a more complex and realistic image of women that includes recognition of their aggressive tendencies and the form of victimisation females are more likely to use.”