Front Street

Thursday, January 01, 2009

By Gigi

Working women and mothers are the norm these days. But as the number of professional women increases, so do the proverbial elephants in the office. The issue that no one seems eager to discuss is the phenomenon of women sabotaging each other in the work place…and why they do it.

Professional men have been merrily swiping at each other for years. But when it comes to women, it seems most of the stabbing is done in the back. We get opposing messages from the workplace about being ambitious and successful. In addition, we’re caught between ambition and social views of femininity, a working woman may subvert her competitive nature for more passive forms of aggression. We’re afraid to come across as ‘bad women’, as if we should always be bonding together and supporting one another. This fear not only keeps women from addressing the issue, but is also the crux of the problem. Women often still get strong messages that in our relationships with each other, we must put the other woman before ourselves.

Then you get some women, who think like men and want to excel professionally and don’t give a damn about being kind or a generous person and prefer to fight dirty. They will tell lies, withhold critical information, finger point and blame you for mistakes that are not of your making to the big bosses. They’re nice to your face, while boldly presenting your ideas as their own.

So what is the cause, aside from professional ambition which causes women to clash so fiercely at work? We can argue all day long about differences in race and class for bringing working women into conflict. There’s also competition over looks and sexual appeal if you can believe that! Such as co-workers being jealous of the attention you get in the workplace by the men on staff.

The first step to dealing with a difficult female at work?