"Queen Bee" Research on Female Rivalry Earns APA Grant

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1/17/2013

"Queen Bee" Research on Female Rivalry Earns APA Grant


University of the Rockies doctoral student Dionne Mahaffey is one of seven recipients of a small grants competition sponsored by Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research and the Society of Consulting Psychology, both part of Division 13 of the American Psychological Association.

Through narrative research, Mahaffey will gather stories from women about being the target or the initiator of female rivalry in the workplace. Her research is centered on an alarming phenomenon where successful women are reluctant to help other women. Previous researchers have labeled this the “queen bee syndrome,” which is presumed to result from competition over limited leadership opportunities and recognition for women in the workplace.

Mahaffey’s study will afford participants the opportunity to share their experiences and to reflect upon them in order to construct meaning of the occurrence. This is based on a transformational learning theory and a common premise that adult learning is based upon both lived experiences and later reflection.

Mahaffey, who is also President and CEO of The CPAI Group, Inc., is pursuing her doctorate degree online from her hometown of Atlanta, Ga. She hopes to publish her research regarding women and how they interact with one another in organizational settings. She has already published commentary and analysis on a wide range of topics including gender loyalty, consumer psychology and leadership coaching.

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