Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict (Print ISSN: 1544-0508; Online ISSN: 1939-4691 )


The Implications of the Queen Bee Phenomenon in the Workplace

Author(s): Anndrea Brown

Gender inequality in the workplace has been a persistent issue for some time. With women today holding less than 6% of CEO positions and only 19% of executive board positions in Fortune 500 companies as noted by Catalyst, 2017organizations work toward understanding how to increase gender equality representation in leadership roles. Organizations may promote diversity, equity and inclusion efforts to attract more female leaders to their organization, however upon further research there are internal forces at work that are also providing obstacles to women, that being surprisingly other women. Rather than being advocates for gender equality some women labelled as “queen bees” through the Queen Bee Phenomenon in turn defend the status quo of fewer female leaders in the male-dominated workplace. This internal struggle within an organization negatively impacts not only female leaders, but junior women, male counterparts, and the organization as a whole. This review evaluates research on understanding the psychological mechanisms behind queen bee behavior and reviews the implications the queen bee phenomenon has on organizations while serving to challenge how queen bee interactions discriminate against women in the workplace.

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