A few weeks ago, whilst scrolling through social media, I came across a post from my dear friend, Dr Mansingh. The post was a personal story of the challenges she faced as a result of having to work under a “queen bee”.
I immediately became engrossed in the write up and eager to want to know more. I believe that there are many women that face queen bees daily and I thought it was about time the story be told.
Dr Mansingh wrote a paper around the “queen bee” that exists in the workplace. The “Queen Bee” is one that occupies a senior position in the workplace, however provides her female subordinates with little or no support when it comes to career progression. I find this a hard pill to swallow for one reason alone. As women we are constantly faced with challenges in the work place, having to prove our selves because men have traditionally dominated the work environment, they occupied senior positions and have earned more than women. In the new, hopefully progressive environment, women continue having to protest against unjust environments, except this time its at the hands of the “Queen Bee”.
Through the video, you will become more acquainted with Dr Mansingh’s findings, however at some point I did pose the question, do Queen Bees exist outside the workplace. The answer, I had already known. Although her research and findings are based on the work place, in this blog I’m going to speak about the ones that exist in society as a whole.
I have never considered myself to be a queen bee of any sort, however from my personal journey I have encountered many. The social environment is filled with different degrees of these queen bees, always trying to maintain their perceived perception of being at the top. Every women reading this will have their own story to share, as do I.
From a very young age I found myself gravitating towards having males as friends. They are less complicated, always willing to help be it on a personal level as well as professionally. When I walked away from my male friends, I never felt a knife slice through my chest. And as the years passed on the status quo remained. The difference with men and women is that men do not see you at a “threat” but rather as a friend or colleague. Men always seem to find common ground which explains why they network so easily. Men are able to maintain stronger and longer friendships than most women. Now, the question I pose is WHY?
Maybe there is little or no desire for external validation?
A social “Queen Bee” may require high altitudes of peer validation. The only way that she can impose herself on others is by bullying other women or talks badly about others to make herself look like a saint. I suppose the list is exhaustive when it comes to her behaviour however the thread that holds everything together is low self esteem.
This is obviously just my thoughts and everyone will have their own theory, but when all has been said and done, I truly feel sorry for her. It must be a horrible place to find yourself in, always having to prove your worth to gain friendships. But its also because of her, women will always be in competition with each other and the male networks in place will grow stronger.
When will women learn the need to support each other?