A former intern sent me a news clipping titled “Queen Bees” that was all about women bullying other women in the workplace. There are few things I hate like eggplant but I really hate when women don’t support other women.
I worked with a particularly mean Queen Bee once upon a time. I had just gotten to the company and was told by an employee he couldn’t be seen talking to me for fear she would fire them. Another chain smoking, shaking account person warned me he was going to get fired because he hadn’t told her he was taking me to meet a client. I never saw him again after that meeting. She was passive aggressive and would give my work to other art directors to redo without telling me and without first asking for revisions.
Here’s how I handled my experience with a Queen Bee:
• Just do your job. I have found the best way to combat a Queen was to put my head down and put 150% into over delivering on the work. Queens like to shake your confidence and screw up your capacity to be productive. Ignore them as hard, as it may be, and put your nose to the grindstone.
• Communicate to others what you’re working on. Otherwise known as “CYA.” I stumbled on this. I would send emails updating the CEO on everything I was working on. Little did I know she was sending him emails about the same client matters spinning quite different stories. It didn’t take long for the CEO to see right through her plotting to undermine me.
• Don’t be afraid to have an honest conversation with someone in the HR department. Encourage others to convey their experiences as well. Workplace harassment is grounds for legal action if the company is not willing to support you and address issues.
How did you handle the Queen Bee in your life?
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