We hear too many anecdotes about women who have very negative experiences working with other women, especially when the supervisor is a woman. Ladies, we can do better than this!
I’ve been there. I have worked for women who perceived me as a threat (so I was told by those close to those women). They had insecurities such that anything accomplished by me or my team was a ‘negative’ instead of a ‘positive.’
To that end, I have tried (and am a work-in-progress) to lift the women I work with, both those in the reporting channel as well as my peers in the workplace. What about you?
Everyone, female or male, needs a group of folks who will give them constructive criticism, advice, support, and sometimes a kick in the pants. I have had two female bosses who would do that… and they did it because they cared about my career progression and ME. They couched the conversation such that I walked away THANKFUL to have been kicked! What a blessing women who will do this are!
Some of us don’t have that at work, but we need it! So consider joining a GOT YOUR BACK trio. Coordinated by the Women’s Leadership Colloquium @ UMW, three women at similar levels in different organizations are paired. The group talks confidentially about work situations and lifts each other up. My group meets monthly before work; Martha Hutzel and Roberta Tinch are blessings in my life!
If you need this or would like to explore more, contact Andrea Cordray (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info. We women need to circle our wagons and be supportive, not destructive, to our careers.
Lynne Richardson is the dean of the University of Mary Washington’s College of Business, marketing professor and chair or the Women’s Leadership Colloquium @ UMW board.