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We had to chuckle to ourself the other day when we read an opinion piece on the virtue of female dominated workplaces.  According to the author (who had years of intense socialisation in an all-girls high school) her female work environment was ‘supportive of my work, helped me find further vocational opportunities and made coming in to work fun. I’ve come away with friendships that have continued long after I moved on to another role.’  Wow.  Did you braid each others hair also?

Research has shown that women do not support other women to get ahead. Duguid’s research identified two forms of ‘value threat’.  Competitive threat which  is the fear that a highly qualified female candidate might be more qualified, competent or accepted than you are and collective threat where  women are concerned about bringing in another woman with lower qualifications, who could reinforce negative stereotypes about women and impact others’ impressions of them.

Let’s be brutal.  95% of women according to the American Management Association feel  they have been undermined at work by other women. Screw sisterhood.  The perception of threat intensifies in male dominated industries. Women who had broken through the glass ceiling were more likely to mentor and  support male colleagues than female colleagues.

Queen Bee syndrome aside, from personal experience, female dominated work environments are characterised by cliques, social exclusion, gossiping and the silent treatment.  They are generally dysfunctional workplaces.  A male can differentiate between the task at hand and the person.  A female can’t and will bear a grudge.

So this brings us back to the opinion piece.  If you can thrive in a female dominated environment – you are a bitch.

*Image lifted from http://www.polyvore.com/mean_girls_quotes/set?id=54097214

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