Myth Busting Blog - Women Are Queen Bees


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!


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.

42 stories


Natalie Wilcox Natalie Wilcox @natw 1 week 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
Kiran S Kiran S @kiran 1 week ago
Tip of the iceberg! Together we are stronger. Thank you @natw for your support x x
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