Does Queen Bee Syndrome make women cruel?

Queen bee syndrome Organisations may face a higher risk of losing female employees who experience female instigated rudeness as they report less satisfaction at work and increased intentions to quit their current jobs in response to these unpleasant experiences. This is according to a new study to be published shortly in the Journal of Applied Psychology by a team led by Allison Gabriel of the University of Arizona.

Queen Bee Syndrome has always been with us, women can be terribly cruel to those underneath them in the hierarchy and pull the ladder up behind them, rather than extend it down to support them in their career progression. If women have had a tough time becoming successful in their career, some women, rather than become the great role model and mentor they could be, feel other junior women coming up behind them are a threat and deciding to either be unpleasant to them or deliberately block their career path.

So how much of an issue is Queen Bee Syndrome in organisations and is it impacting the increase in numbers of women into the Board Room? Continue reading


Are Women Ideal Workers or ‘Bulldozers’?

Are women bulldozers?Barriers to women’s ambition

In my second article leading up to International Women’s Day on the 8th March 2017 I am considering how despite all the time, money and great intentions which have been put into building a more diverse talent pipeline in many organisations, there are still some basic barriers, which have not been removed and get in the way of women feeling and being more upwardly mobile. A Bain Study in 2015 illustrates that an employee’s early employment experience influences their confidence in whether to actively pursue a C-suite career or not. Some of the erosion of or challenges facing ambition come down to factors such as whether women are perceived as ‘ideal workers’, whether they are getting sufficient support from their own direct supervisor, the organisation’s leadership development process and the dearth of real role models. These types of barriers can be explored and supported through coaching and mentoring relationships. Continue reading


Does a Woman need a Sponsor rather than a Mentor?

Sponsorship for Women

A woman protégéeFormal and informal mentoring relationships exist in many organisations. Within these mentoring relationships the mentor may take many roles: being a role model, a sounding board, helping build networks and career support, sometimes simply being there to listen and challenge. However, linked to mentoring, but with clear differences is the role of a sponsor. Is it actually more beneficial for a woman who is seeking to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ to have a sponsor rather than an organisational mentor? Or perhaps she should be greedy and have both!

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