The glass ceiling has garnered a lot of deserved attention, but a lesser publicized phenomenon is also a major problem for women in the workplace: Girl on Girl Hate. After a recent rash of girl on girl hate affected Dooce and ThisFish, I decided to take a stroll through the internet to see what I could find. I stumbled on this old article from Marie Clare discussing the challenges of women working for women.
As its best, working for a woman can be an amazing mentor/mentee nurturing relationship overflowing with quality communication and career help and advice. At its worst, it can be a back-stabbing, snarky, and very personal little piece of hell. So what is the deal? Why are women more threatened by other women than by men?
Frankly, I have no idea. It really befuddles me. With a wage gap of 13% - 23% between men and women, we should be working hard to build each other up. This doesn’t mean that all women have to like each other, agree with each other, bestow undeserved praise, or avoid competition. What it does mean is that we have to follow some rules of engagement:
• Be professional.
• Avoid personal attacks.
• Avoid over-sharing.
• Celebrate others’ deserved successes. The more women that succeed, the better it is for everyone.
I have heard women say things about other women that they would never say about a man. Comments on her sexual proclivities, motherhood skills, personal appearance, or even her walk are ridiculous and degrading both to the person making the statement and the person on the receiving end. So cut it out!
What about you? Have you had any experiences with girl on girl hate? Am I off track here?