Lesson 38: Beware Of The “Queen Bee”

The Queen of Hearts: The Confessions of An ‘Accidental’ Leader

I didn’t purpose to be in the space that I find myself in.  God plucked me from the path that I had set out for myself & set me on an alternative journey. At the start it all appeared somewhat ‘accidental’ but I know now that it was no accident, rather His design, His purpose for my life…

So now that I am here, these are my confessions…the lessons I am learning about being a woman in business, building an empire, one brick at a time…

Lesson No 38: Beware of the “Queen Bee”

“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

Madeleine Albright

I participated in the Women In Tech Week 2019 – Women in Tech Africa’s Flagship event where women discuss leadership, tech, entrepreneurship and Digital Africa.

Our session, Championing the Anti-Queen Bee Syndrome was a power-packed panel discussion with fellow panellists Wanjira Kamwere of Microsoft4Afrika, Laura Chite – CEO of CIO and Phyllis Mwangi, Country Co-ordinator for ITC She Trades.

The Queen Bee syndrome refers to women in authority or power who treat subordinate females worse than males purely because of their gender.

The syndrome manifests in behaviours that range from women disapproving of traits typically ascribed to women e.g. the belief that “women are emotional”, to hyping up their own “masculine” attributes (“I think more like a guy”).  It also includes seeing claims of gender discrimination as baseless as well as being unsupportive of initiatives to address gender inequality. 

Interestingly, research shows that Queen Bee behaviours are not reflective of some Mean Girl gene lurking in women’s DNA – women aren’t necessarily inherently catty, they are just human. Where this syndrome exists, the dynamics are triggered by gender discrimination.

It’s easy to become competitive in the marketplace– but women succeed when we all succeed.

So how do you make sure that YOU are not the Queen Bee?

Develop greater Self Awareness

Understand your identity & values and uncover your leadership blind-spots & biases.  Encourage feedback from others – receive it graciously & with an open mind, sift through it and action that which is relevant

Leaders who are self-aware are better able to work with colleagues who have differing strengths to them. They are also more easily able to accept the idea that someone else may have better ideas or abilities than their own and therefore benefit from that.

Practice Conscious Leadership

Be intentional and look for ways that you can mentor the women coming up behind you, rather than hold them back.

Create a culture of trust & cultivate an environment where women can thrive.

In addition to her ground-breaking book Lean In, Sandberg launched “Together Women Can,” a public awareness campaign that celebrates the power of women supporting one another.

Sandberg emphasizes that women experience similar challenges in the workplace and therefore should be powerful allies, not adversaries, competing for scares resources As Sandberg said of her campaign, “When a woman helps another woman, they both benefit. And when women celebrate one another’s accomplishments, we’re all lifted.”

Which woman are you lifting?

Emotional Intelligence is being more aware, more intentional & more purposeful.  How Emotionally Intelligent are you?

With Love,

The Queen Of Hearts
Mucha Mlingo
| Six Seconds EQ Practitioner | Master Trainer & Facilitator |
| Award Winning International Keynote Speaker |

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *