On International Women’s Day…

On International Women’s Day, I have been reflecting on women in the workplace – my previous workplace in particular. I have enjoyed a good half-century of working with women who have supported me in my career and become friends, confidants, and all-around good eggs. It is worth noting that this has been across the board from colleagues to managers. I have valued the space that each one has in my career and I will always have their backs – even though we have all moved into different areas of work. I have been very lucky in the main because not all female colleagues or bosses are all the things that we, as women, have come to expect from our sisters.

My experience

Over the past six years, I experienced a change in bosses five times! Four of them were women. Two of them were fantastically supportive, and encouraging and valued my development. Two of them, much less so. They appeared to go out of their way to be the very opposite of supporting and valuing me. Now that I have a new role I can reflect on that experience without too much hurt and question why some women behave this way. After all, as women, we have juggled multiple things and we have experienced misogyny in the workplace, the glass ceiling etc.. which makes it difficult to resign myself to accepting that some women are not very nice! I have long suspected that some female bosses are challenged by confident women, (I am one of those) and will use their power against them. Because this started to feel like an emotive reflection, I called on the impartial skills of AI to find out what it thought about women bosses who might be challenged by other women. This is what it said…
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for women bosses to feel challenged by other women and to use their power against them. This behaviour is often rooted in internalized sexism and a belief that there can only be one woman in a position of power.

This type of behaviour is harmful not only to the women who are targeted but to the organization as a whole. It can lead to a toxic work environment, low morale, and high turnover rates.

If you are a woman who is experiencing this type of behaviour from a woman boss, it is important to seek support and advocate for yourself. This could mean speaking with a human resources representative, seeking out mentorship from other women in the organization, or looking for support from external networks.

If you are a woman boss who recognizes that you may be exhibiting this type of behaviour, it is important to reflect on your actions and motivations. You may benefit from seeking out training or mentorship that can help you to better support and advocate for all women in the workplace, regardless of their position.

Ultimately, it is important for all women in positions of power to recognize the importance of supporting and advocating for other women. By working together, we can create more equitable and inclusive workplaces that benefit everyone.

Yay or Nay?

I found this to be an obvious and weak response from an AI machine. It smacks of advising that we should all “play nicely” and didn’t soothe my hackles! So, let’s get this in context. If my career has more or less spaned 50 years then each year is 2% of the overall. Two women each made two years of my working life miserable – 4 years in total. Therefore they only account for 8% of my career! For the other 92%, I have had fantastic women and men as colleagues and bosses – many of whom I remain in contact with years later.

I think my conclusion is, that I have high expectations of women who might not necessarily share my views on female loyalty. Not all women are nice just because they are women! My career has not been impacted by the measly 8% of women who found me challenging *eye roll* and I have been so lucky to have so many wonderful, supportive, joyous, tough women for the remainder of the time!