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The Queen Bee Complex: Do You Tear Down Or Lift Up?

I’m sure you’ve heard of the “Queen Bee” expression? She’s regularly thought of as a bitch and an instigator of female rivalry behaviors. She’s frequently a woman who’s in a position of authority.

A famous study at the start of the women’s movement in 1973, famously coined the ‘Queen Bee’ term. It’s the tendency for a powerful woman to get used to being the only female in the group and she wants to keep it that way. It may come as no surprise, but women are often crueler to each other at work, than they are to their male colleagues.

But always, there’s a twist.

The other side of the ‘Queen Bee’ complex beckons one to look at the aspect of individual versus group recognition. If a strong-independent, smart woman is confident in her abilities, is doing her own thing, and truly doesn’t care what other women or anyone else thinks... She stands out. And in this unique sphere, she’s frequently perceived as a threat to other women who maybe aren’t as confident in their own abilities. Therefore, she’s often labeled, as being ‘bitchy’ or ‘too aggressive.’ In this scenario, she’s customarily viewed as instigating competition, rivalry, and jealousy from other women.

Food For Thought: Regarding the description above, is this type of woman really a Queen Bee? Or is she just doing her own thing and that’s off-putting to other women because they’re threatened by her? (I’d love to hear your thoughts)!

Even though the women’s movement began years ago, the term Queen Bee is still being used today as a way to describe women who’ve made it professionally in a world that’s still predominantly influenced by men. You may be thinking, how does an individual navigate, consciously or not, toward becoming a Queen Bee? To become someone who tears down versus lifting up?

Believe it or not, the organizational culture one works in is an influencer for this type of behavior. The organizational culture, positive or negative, influences positive or negative behaviors of its employees.

Although every person is unique as to what motivates them, studies on aggression suggest the reason for the behavior of rivalry between women in a working environment is related to its organizational culture. The culture can foster aggression, competition and rivalry, or, it may promote collaboration, solidarity and trust. Having an awareness and understanding about the cultural environment you work in is key, to understanding if female rivalry behaviors are prone to exist.

🐝 Signs to know you’re dealing with a Queen Bee:

  • She’s feels special and unique: She’s proud of the fact that she’s succeeded in a world where most women don’t.

  • She tends to focus on herself: She doesn’t typically lean towards group collaboration.

  • She wants to climb to the top: She wants to be recognized for her own accomplishments and doesn’t want to share her achievements with other women.

  • She favors men: She treats other women in the workplace more critically, disdainfully, and ‘meaner’ than she would a male colleague.

Let’s be honest here though, shall we? We’re probably all very familiar with these types of women in and out of the working environment. I’m sure you’ve sees this socially, in your neighborhood, your book club, at your church, etc. This type of behavior exists everywhere. So likewise, the culture of the social group or scene also influences whether these types of behaviors are accepted, or not.

⁉️The question for you to ask yourself, regardless if it’s occurring at work or socially is, are you the type of woman that tears down or lifts up? Being conscious of your own actions and how you may or may not be contributing to these types of negative behaviors, is the start to curbing the negative behavior.

Female rivalry in a working environment and other social settings, deprives women of female colleagues and companionship. It also keeps women from relying on their natural allies, each other. To empower is to make stronger and more confident. When women lift each other up, instead of tear down the possibilities are limitless and we all win.

You already are. It’s time TO BE.♥️

P.S. Stay tuned for my next blog out next week about Haters Gonna Hate.

⁉️ Do you tear down or lift up? Being conscious of your own actions is the start to curbing the negative behavior. —————-

⁉️Interested in learning how ‘female rivalry’ impacts the workplace? 🎉DOWNLOAD my FREE .pdf guide, ‘5 Reasons WHY Good Women Walk’ to learn more!


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