How Women Help Other Women: time to bust myths

Ever been the victim of “Queen Bee Syndrome”? Ellevest CEO, Sallie Krawcheck has and goes into detail about the circumstances in this article in Women’s Agenda. My first reaction when reading this was <insert expletive here> then I stopped thought and then uttered the same expletive again. I disagree.

I want a gender equal world

I want a gender equal world and I advocate for the advancement and empowerment of women in work and life. I do this for many reasons, the main one is that I am a woman who has had highly varied experiences over the course of my life and career. I call it the crap to awesome scale. Some crap experiences and a lot of awesome ones. I don’t want my crap experiences to be replicated, and I want my awesome opportunities and great experiences to be shared. So I work purposefully to make that happen. And so do many other women, Like Dr Kirstin Ferguson, who deliberately extend their hand to celebrate and advance women.

The other reason is that my daughter (22) and son (26) do not have equal opportunities, do not enjoy the same wins, will not face the same challenges and thrive at life simply because of their gender. WGEA statistics tell us that my son will out-earn my daughter to the tune of ~19%, simply because he is male. I love him, but that is an unacceptable state of play for my daughter and all the women of her generation and mine. So I am committed, driven and determined to help those women and change outcomes for my daughters generation and those to follow. I am not alone.

I know I can contribute to correcting the gender imbalance for my children’s generation and the generation to follow

By mentoring, training, speaking and running events for the current and next generation of female leaders and business owners, I know I can contribute to correcting the gender imbalance for my children’s generation and the generation to follow. My strategy is to be a highly visible woman in business, helping women in business or helping men who have women in their businesses. How does that play out? My portfolio of businesses and board work are carefully planned and anchored in my purpose. I actively support other female entrepreneurs, leaders and business owners, vocally, financially, spiritually. And you know what? I am not alone.

Like many female entrepreneurs, business owners and corporate executives, I make informed buying choices for my business and my family. I buy from female founded and/or owned companies where possible or I buy from businesses and corporations that are demonstrably serious about gender equality. I love the fact that Alanna and Jade from Femeconomy have made this task for ethical buying much simpler. I advocate strongly in the workplace for the economic empowerment of women and I actively promote other women, their aspirations and their businesses. And you know what? I am not alone.


Madeleine Albright has famously said ‘there is a special place in hell for women that don’t help other women’. I won’t ever occupy that particular part of hell. I know Sallie Krawcheck won’t either; she has a fabulous mission to get women wealthy! Perhaps I am fortunate in that I have not observed systematic Queen Bee syndrome. Perhaps I am happily naïve and have been focussed on smashing the glass ceiling to notice. However, I know that I am not alone in wanting to support and advance women. So on this matter, I am respectfully, energetically and optimistically disagreeing that women don’t help other women.

Michelle is an astute businesswoman & keen entrepreneur who has achieved extraordinary results enabling people and organisations to be happy and successful. Michelle’s warm, approachable & heart-based style along with a visionary, creative and courageous approach results in women, teams & businesses achieving better products, processes and profits. Michelle’s “why” is to ensure everyone, regardless of gender, race, sexuality or ability has a voice, is heard & participating fully & joyfully in life & work. She has a clear vision to be an ordinary woman doing extraordinary things.

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  1. Unfortunately I see women undermining women far too often. I love your posts Michelle because it helps me focus on positive behaviour that shows that women can support and be advocates for each other.


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