BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Come Together, Ladies

Posted by jpflaste on January 28, 2009

tennisA co-worker directed me to an article that appeared in the NY Times earlier this month that made me think about interactions between women in the workplace. Throughout the years we’ve stuck together outside the office to fight for issues like Equal Pay, but inside the office is a different story. Peggy Klaus, a leadership coach talks about the overlooked workplace barrier of how we treat one-another.

Some women have the belief that since they clawed their way to the top every other woman should as well. But does this in fact make it more difficult for women in the workplace? If we help each other, doesn’t it benefit us all?

When I was growing up I was one out of two or three girls in my tennis classes, we practiced together outside of class in hopes that maybe one of us could challenge the boys. In business school we used to study together and have competitions to see who did better on a finance test…loser buys drinks. In a recent book I was reading, the author was talking about how people limit themselves if they take business decisions personally. For example, a woman is passed over for a promotion in favor of her male counterpart. She may jump to the conclusion that the reason is because she is a woman. Whether or not that is the case, if that is your first thought you have already put yourself at a disadvantage because you aren’t looking at the areas in which you could be improving. Take a look at the opposite case, the man is passed up by his female counterpart, he immediately looks at what he needs to do in order to get the promotion instead of sitting back and complaining that it is unfair.

Competition does not mean ruthlessly stepping on someone else or sabotaging their career to get where you want to be. It means constantly challenging yourself. This can be internal or external. As a woman in a good position within a company, who knows better than you about what a woman needs to do  in order to succeed within the organization? If you are helping those around you, doesn’t this in essence challenge you to step up and work a little harder?

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2 Responses to “Come Together, Ladies”

  1. joyinhome said

    Great post! Personally, I have had awful professional experiences with women who were in a position to be a mentor. I am hopeful that we will learn to come together to raise everyone up…

  2. thearea said

    Agreed. We have to empower ourselves to succeed, work hard, and assess professional instances, regardless of external circumstances. Plus, there is always enough [insert noun] out there for everyone.

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