Women workers sabotage career of same gender colleagues

Melbourne, Feb 1 : The worst enemy a woman can have at work, who stop her from getting ahead, are her female colleagues, a study has revealed.

In a British poll published in HR Magazine's December issue, women were asked whether they'd prefer their boss to be male or female.

Those who preferred a bloke outnumbered those who wanted a woman by six to one, the Age reported.

Another survey, conducted last year by the Workplace Bullying Institute in the US, found most of the bullying that females experience is inflicted not by men but by other women.

And a couple of years ago, a report produced by the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia, revealed that women at work who didn't reflect the traditional female stereotype were intensely disliked by other women
(as well as by men).

The report used the word "rage" to describe the emotional reaction that colleagues felt upon being confronted by an unladylike female leader.

In her new book Liberate Leadership, Suzanne Mercier wrote that some of the difficulties faced by women in the workplace can be attributed to the different criteria by which they're judged.

So much is expected of them - both at home and at work - and this creates a fear of failure or, conversely, a fear of success.

There are several ways that women react to this pressure. Some of them don't bother applying for promotions.

Others adopt male characteristics as a way of getting ahead. And then there are those who instead choose to undermine other women by bullying, withholding support, and engaging in covert behaviour.

Mercier said that there are several causes to explain this trend. One can be attributed to a lack of female role models who can mentor colleagues and provide a reliable blueprint on how to progress.

This problem is perpetuated by an unconscious bias that prevents people from associating leadership with women, viewing females more as nurturers than as strong leaders.

Then there's the scarcity mentality.

"There are currently only a few jobs for women compared with men," Mercier said.

"Women already in positions of leadership may worry that if they support another woman to move up the ladder, she might lose her job to her later on," she added. (ANI)


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