What Does Queen Bee Syndrome Mean in the Workplace?



queen bee syndrome

When women in managerial positions at work see themselves as rivals rather than as allies, they engage in Queen Bee Syndrome and work to keep other women from advancing. Psychologists Staines, Jalaratne, and Tavris first identified Queen Bee Syndrome in 1973. Numerous studies have shown that female managers exhibit the behaviors outlined in psychologists’ descriptions of the Queen Bee Syndrome in the workplace. According to a University of Toronto study, women who work for female managers experience higher levels of work-related stress. Stress levels among male workers who reported to female managers did not differ significantly. This could be a sign that female managers are more likely to be abusive and cruel to the female employees they supervise. In a 2011 study involving 1000 female employees, 95% of the women said that at some point in their professional lives, another woman had hampered their career development. Again, this study shows that Queen Bee Syndrome still exists in the workplace.
According to some studies, all female employees, including female managers, exhibit Queen Bee Syndrome toward other female employees. This situation is attributed to a number of discriminatory methods used to promote women. Due to these methods, very few women are able to advance in their careers and take management positions. On the other hand, women who advance to managerial positions believe that there is a hidden quota based on gender because few women can do so, and as a result, they view other female employees as rivals. In other words, they believe that one female manager should resign in order for other female employees to advance to managerial positions.

Another explanation for the Queen Bee Syndrome is that women who advance to managerial positions must put in significantly more work than male employees because of gender-discriminatory methods used to get them there.
It is obvious that women are not the cause of Queen Bee Syndrome. Women develop this type of defense mechanism because they experience severe discrimination at work and find it more challenging than men to advance to managerial positions. The Queen Bee Syndrome, which makes female managers have a bad attitude toward other female employees, will also vanish if gender-based discrimination in the workplace is eliminated.


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