Queen Bee Syndrome

I’ve just returned from Istanbul where I was asked to speak at the International Conference Centre for Kagider’s annual conference on women’s leadership. It was an incredible experience to hear fellow speakers from all over the world discussing issues that we are familiar with in the UK. Once again I was struck at the similarity of those issues and the main issue, sadly, still appears to be Queen Bee Syndrome.

It was proposed that there be a code of conduct for women leaders in order to prevent Queen Bee syndrome. I believe there is a better way and it is something I have been beating the drum about for over a decade… Women’s leadership development.

Queen Bee

It is a known fact that it takes some bravery for any woman to ‘be herself’ in a testosterone filled working environment. Psychological experiments such as the famous Milgram experiment prove that people are willing to ignore their own conscience in order to be obedient to authority – even if it means hurting somebody.

If the need to conform is so strong in the human psyche is it any wonder that women, generally, tend to become like a bloke in a skirt when they hit senior ranks? The few women who remain powerful are the ones who have a deep understanding of their needs, values and beliefs. Masculine energy is strength. Feminine is power, but not too many women know how to be in feminine power.

McKinsey recently found that executive coaching helps women advance careers further and yet too many women are reaching the top without personal development. Hence the Queen Bee syndrome which is not, as most believe, based on selfishness but on a need to conform.

If you want to know more about the 6 Distinctions of Highly Successful Women based on ten years of research you can find out more here.

One of the insights that you will gain about your own feminine power on our seminar is the 6 Human Needs which are as follows:

  • Certainty
  • Uncertainty/Variety
  • Significance
  • Love/Connection
  • Contribution
  • Growth

Every human being will find a way to get the first four needs met and if we inadvertently get our need for certainty and significance met through acting like a bloke in a skirt and conforming to the culture of the predominant group, then we most certainly will. Unless, of course, we have had some specialist coaching and know that the quality of our lives is in direct proportion to the level of uncertainty that we can handle.

The other choice is burn out, guilt and exhaustion from trying to be something you aren’t.

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