Myth Busting Blog - Women Are Queen Bees

#womened

Women are queen bees.

Until #womened, I thought the majority of women were NOT very nice in schools. My NQT year was a baptism of fire, a phrase coined by many of my friends. I was told on my first day that I had to choose a team. I didn’t choose a team which was the beginning of being bullied, excluded... I also had back handed comments and passive aggressive comments made to me like ‘If you weren’t soo kind, I wouldn’t be nice to you,’ ‘You are too pretty to work here,’ or ‘NQTs don’t last here too long.’ There were many queen bees all vying to be THE queen bee. I lasted three years with two TLRs, taught in Tanzania for one of those summers and completed my Masters in Education. How I taught the children after crying most mornings for the first two years before the bell rang, I don’t know. But I do know I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from teaching them to the best of my ability.

After that, I moved to my second school which was unreal. The children were beautiful and I loved teaching them. But the women! Some of the women in the highest positions had the unrivalled power to destroy you...I had seen many staff members destroyed. I quickly realised that this was a toxic environment. One I did not want to progress in, even though it was planned for me to do so. 

Now at my third school…on reflection, a lot more settled!

So what is a Queen bee? The term was first defined in 1973, by three researchers. They described a Queen Bee as a woman in a high authoritative position who views and treats subordinates, specifically women, unfairly. In addition to this, scientists in Toronto claimed that women found it more stressful to work for women managers. Alternatively, a Queen Bee can be defined as a woman who has succeeded in her career and does not help other women because she believes they should go through the same struggles to be successful.

So have you come across a queen bee? Women who block the advancement of other women moving forward, or progressing further.

Women who ‘help’ because it helps the image they're creating of themselves. Inauthentic help. They help in public but wouldn’t help you if the boss wasn’t looking. In essence, helping their advancement, not yours.

Women who befriend you to manipulate you through a ‘friendship’ so that they keep hold of their crown. You tend to be the bullet fired out of their gun. They orchestrate from afar, are ten steps back watching the drama unfold. By manipulation, they are advancing whilst undermining the professionalism of others.

Women who don’t want to help because they are insecure and threatened by the idea of another woman being as good as them or even worse taking their crown!

Solution...

Here is some good advice...

Support, don't suppress, each other.

Empowered women empower. 

Author Profile

Kiran S

Kiran S

Primary teacher who loves her job.

47 stories

Comments

Natalie Wilcox Natalie Wilcox @natw 4 months ago
Wow! Well done for surviving where so many would have walked away from teaching. I've definitely met some Queen Bees in my 17 years but fortunately they were very much in the minority. You're absolutely right about the power of #womened and the way women should empower each other and build big block. Good luck with the next step x
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Kiran S Kiran S @kiran 4 months ago
Tip of the iceberg! Together we are stronger. Thank you @natw for your support x x
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Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 3 months ago
A great opening blog Kiran - as Nat said - well done on being resilient and being your authentic self. @mrsanderson1982 and I were discussing this yesterday as we had a destructive former colleague who made a lot of women's lives a misery at work. Her insecurities manifested in a really nasty way and lots of people left. This is the blog I wrote about Queen bees 2 years ago:
https://staffrm.io/@misswilsey/TEuuKxGWK3
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Leanne Avis Leanne Avis @missavis 3 months ago
A brilliant start to today's #womened #digimeet thank you for sharing your story and well done for being so strong and resilient to get to where you are now... onwards and upwards, you can do it! :) x
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Kiran S Kiran S @kiran 3 months ago
Thank you @missavis amazing when you reflect back and see how much you've grown as a person.

Thank you @misswilsey will read your blog, I'm sure I've just come across it if it is the one about sabotage...

I think you are completely right - manifestation of insecurity is the root of many problems.

Leanne @missavis are you going to fill up one of the slots?? Carry on being 10%braver??
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Kiran S Kiran S @kiran 3 months ago
thank you @hgregory can not wait to read yours x
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A Alexander A Alexander @andream656 3 months ago
Why do women do this? It's a common feature in many schools. well done in surviving this and sharing your story Kiran. I can relate to this and have seen the misery caused in teams as a result. This blog is a step in the right direction by raising awareness.
1
Naznin Choudhury Naznin Choudhury @naz08 3 months ago
This is brilliant Kiran. Well done to you for being brave
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Leanne Avis Leanne Avis @missavis 3 months ago
@kiran ...let's do this! I'll be #10%braver, which slots are available? X
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Kiran S Kiran S @kiran 3 months ago
10.30, 11.00 or 11.30pm are available. Yes Leanne!!! @missavis x x
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Hannah Tyreman Hannah Tyreman @hannahtyremancpd 3 months ago
I have never understood the need for anyone to destroy rather than empower others; especially women for other women. I think authenticity is so important here- perhaps it's the case that such women feel threatened by someone else who arrives continuing to display all of the qualities that under the same criticism long ago, they chose to bury and hide? Their only response is to bully and criticise. This certainly doesn't excuse any behaviour but it does make me think that we need to work with girls at a younger age to prevent this kind of external judgement from affecting who they are.

Congratulations for retaining your true self in such toxic environments.
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Leanne Avis Leanne Avis @missavis 3 months ago
I'll be publishing my blog at 11:00 @kiran - thanks for getting me involved! :) x
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Kiran S Kiran S @kiran 3 months ago
Thank YOU leanne x can't wait to read @missavis
Kiran S Kiran S @kiran 3 months ago
@hannahtyremancpd you are completely right. I've thought the same. And yes, we do need to enable young girls to know how and why it is important to be their authentic selves x
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Bolupe Maborukoje Bolupe Maborukoje @bmarybon 3 months ago
Thank you Kiran for sharing this, like you rightly said, Queen Bees suffered from low self confidence and esteem and their only joy is by bringing others down.
Well done for remaining resilient in such environment.
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