Are you a butterfly or a bumblebee?

On Saturday last (2nd Oct), I attended a skills seminar organised by Labour Women for women who are interested in getting more involved in politics. I was there to give a talk on sexism but came away from the day with so much energy, new connections and plenty of ideas of things to do!

I was inspired throughout the morning by stories shared by Claire Cullinane, a Cork businesswoman who is currently a director of Pow Wow People (

One story in particular was that of the butterfly and bumblebee. Before I retell her story I want you to decide are you a butterfly or a bumblebee? Think about why you chose that answer.

Claire told us how at a business conference many many years ago they were asked to go to one side of the room if they thought they were a butterfly and to the other if they thought they were a bumblebee. No explanation or description given. Of about 500 people in the hall, ALL of the women without exception identified as a butterfly and all of the men, bumblebees.

When the group had divided, the definitions were read out. A butterfly was someone who took an interest in a subject/topic/business, learnt what they could about the subject and then moved onto something else bringing with them what they had learned from the previous job whereas bumblebees focused on one job and put all of their energy and focus into this job.

Knowing this – would you change your answer? And what was it in the first place that made you identify as a butterfly or a bumblebee? An idea of prettiness or beauty or an aggressive sting.

Now while a blog post does not do justice to the beautiful skill of story telling that Claire possesses, it a story filled with such a beautiful imagery I had to share it with you.

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