Is another woman threatening your career?

Remember the mean girls in junior high? You know who I’m talking about. They were popular because no one wanted to be on their bad sides, had the teachers convinced that they were angels and often had mothers who were just as bad as they were.

We all assumed they would grow out of it (although their mean mothers should have been a clue that this was hopeless). Not only didn’t they grow out of it, they are now actively seeking to destroy your career, according to a Wall Street Journal article titled “The Tyranny of the Queen Bee.” The author, Peggy Drexler, a psychology at Weill Cornell Medical College, is researching the “queen bee” phenomenon in business.

To keep reading click here: Is another woman threatening your career?

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6 thoughts on “Is another woman threatening your career?

  1. Not a queen bee sting, but I’ve definitely encountered mean girls at work. Lucky for me, when the meanest one struck, I had a boss who had my back (also a woman).

    I’m reading this book right now: Mean Girls at Work: How to Stay Professional When Things Get Personal, by Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster. I found it at the library. It breaks down the different types of mean girl behavior at work, and recommends what to do and what NOT to do. Very interesting read.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth, as the co-author of Mean Girls at Work, I believe that we (women) have to take a hard look at how we treat each other. Thanks for picking up our book.

  2. I’ve only encountered one of these in my career, but this is spot on. By the time she left our company, she’d blacklisted, badmouthed and undermined virtually every woman who was at her level or within a couple of rungs. She burned a lot of bridges trying to maintain her authority, and when she left, no one was sad. It was very weird behavior.

  3. I think I have worked for a few of these before – they want to be the only women. So you better not outshine them in any way.

    (But one of my best bosses ever was also a woman, so I can’t say all female bosses are bad.)

  4. I had one of these in a club that I belonged to. Things were great as long as I had lesser skils and always deferred to her decisions. But then I got extra training, and became a recognised expert in one specialty. Unfortunately, she considered herself to be the “voice” of that specialty for our region, even though she was incabable (physically and skill set wise) to ever perform those duties. And I told her “no” a few times too many, and would no longer defer to her decisions. I became the target of a horrendous smear campaign, had my work sabotaged, and even recieved threats. It was a realy eye-opener for me, because I had never been part of a soap opera before.
    I eventually left due to other priorities. To this day, no progress has been made in that specialty.

  5. I’ve seen at work, one girl promoted internally to a manager. I’ve seen other female managers shout her down and not help her while she would help them. I’ve seen girls under her management bully her at meetings, not ask her what she was doing for lunch eventhough she goes for lunch with them, I noticed one girl not talking to her at lunch and if this manager said something incorrect, the girl in question would snap at her, leaving the manager in question intimidated. I have seen other female managers undermine her decisions, leaving her very stressed. Other female managers as well as their team members, have given her a rough time if her team makes a mistake but when it’s the other way, she is too afraid to bring it up with other managers.

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