Do women still derail each other in the workplace?

Article by Diane Shawe M.Ed, one of WEConnect International's certified women owned businesses.

There was an interesting essay a few weeks ago in the New York Times about workplace infighting among women. The piece describes how women can sometimes derail each other in the office. Is this true? One study by the Workplace Bullying Institute, for example, found that female office bullies, who commit verbal abuse, sabotage performance or hurt relationships, aim at other women more than 70% of the time. (Male workplace bullies, by contrast, tend to be equal-opportunity offenders, targeting both men and women.)

There are several theories why some women hurt other women in the workplace, but surely this must also apply to men… so let’s check out some of the theories

Scarcity: One is scarcity: there are few spots at the top, so women at higher levels are reluctant to help other women who could potentially usurp them.

D.I.Y Bootstrap Theory: Another reason a bit more basic is called the “D.I.Y. Bootstrap Theory.” Some women reason that if they had to pull themselves up on their own, why should they help anyone else?

Fear of showing Favouritism: Women may also be worried about showing favouritism toward other women, so instead, they can end up going too far in the other direction and go out of their way to not help their female colleagues.

Over Emotional: And then there’s the idea that some women are over-emotional, which leads them to take challenges or criticism personally, hold grudges or get caught up in petty arguments.

The way forward
Becoming simply aware of these habits is not quite enough anymore “If we really want to clear one of the last remaining hurdles to gender parity and career success, let’s start by really understanding how to be resilient, focused, leadership skills, personal wealth management and personal profiling.

Readers, what do you think? If you’re a woman, have you experienced being derailed or undermined at a time of importance both to you career and self-esteem? How did you handle it? Have managers or colleagues been more supportive of your performance or do you feel like games are being played? You can contact Diane on: diane@expresstrainingcourses.co.uk

If you’re tired of being tired, Diane is one of the presenters at 'Five steps to avoid being Undermined and Derailed' on Saturday 21st March 2015 in London. Find out more here.


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