Jean Chatzky
Do women hold other women back at work? In the Jan/Feb 2007 issue of Psychology Today, Dr. Judith Sills wrote a column called "Catfight in the Boardroom" to look for answers. The column intrigued Jean, who says she has been in workplaces where she felt women weren't supportive of other women. Here are Dr. Sills's insights on why women seem to be tough on each other when it comes to success in the workplace:
  • According to Dr. Sills, the single factor between women that informs all other workplace decisions is motherhood. She says women are forced to make black-and-white choices: what kind of mother are you going to be, and what kind of worker are you going to be.
  • The best way to handle a catfight is to unite, Dr. Sills says. Competition between women hurts women as workers and mothers.
  • Don't believe the reputation of another woman, urges Dr. Sills. There is no one more gossiped about in the workplace than successful females.
  • Dr. Sills says women often resist being identified with other women because it is the group that has less pull in the workplace. Don't fall into this trap, she says.
  • Acknowledge that there is a high level of competition between women in the workplace. Competition is healthy and positive.
  • Recognize when you pose a threat to others.