Yes. I meow’ed. And not in a fluffy little kitty cat kind of way. Or even a, ‘grr check out that hot guy’ kind of way. I’m talking about that meow sound that tends to pop up when a woman is being catty or a girl fight is about to happen.
Okay, now we’re in the right frame of mind. So, let me ask this: why is it that so many professional women try to undermine each other, instead of helping and supporting each other?
This obviously isn’t every professional woman out there, but like the “Mean Girl syndrome” there seems to be a few Ms. Kitty’s everywhere you go. It’s like they were told that it’s a guy’s world and there’s only room for one woman. So in order to succeed they need to destroy all of the competition.
According to a 2010 survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute, 35% of workers have experienced bullying at work. What’s really sad is that women target women in 80% of the cases. So not only are we not supporting each other, we’re actively trying to sabotage each other by preventing work from getting done, verbal abuse, threatening conduct, intimidation and humiliation.
I’ve experienced it myself… in fact, it’s happened a few times. I had one lady come in to replace the Executive Director and immediately inform me that although I may have been in charge of my department in the past, she was now and I must request permission for anything I do. She then made every day a terrible one until I finally decided that the place wasn’t a good fit for me anymore and went elsewhere. In another position, I had a subordinate spread rumors about me to my co-workers which made it very difficult to build relationships and even do my job on a daily basis.
Wouldn’t it be easier to help other women succeed in business, rather than tearing them down before they even get started? Why is it that some of these Ms. Kitty’s think that the more they push other people down, the higher they‘ll get? When you’re a bully or hell-bent on destroying the “competition” at work, it doesn’t really make people like you much. Or trust you.
So ladies: Cut. It. Out.*
Instead of being threatened by each other, try learning from each other instead. Support each other. Mentor each other. Help each other. And maybe we’ll ALL get ahead.
* Yes, this might have been a Full House reference.