I have never liked conflict, especially with other women. By nature, I’m a people pleaser, a peacemaker, and a neutral third party. To be honest, conflict causes me anxiety, which in turn leads to me consuming large amounts of chocolate.
Oh wait, that just happens all the time. But I digress…
I was fortunate enough to move in to an upper-level management job as a vice president in my mid 20’s. I was responsible for millions of dollars and developed a team from the ground up. I was confident, collaborated well with my peers, and worked hard to empower my staff. Or so I thought.
Sadly, others didn’t embrace my power as positively as I did. And by others, I mean women. The claws came out, along with the back stabbing and face to face confrontations. I realized then that this wouldn’t be the only time I or other strong women around me, would face jealous and threatened women.
We should be proud that women are increasingly finding a place of leadership in the workplace. But unfortunately, we continue to battle earning the influence and power that is deserved, especially among our male counterparts. And it’s no wonder. If jealousy and competition toward other women is our primary example, we’re only perpetuating the perception that women are catty and can’t work with each other. With women comprising 47% of the U.S. labor force, we don’t have time for that. If we were to empower those below us and support those above us, our efforts to make the workplace friendlier to working moms (and dads) could be alarmingly more successful…not to mention, less stressful.
Find a younger woman to mentor. Share with her them work challenges you’ve faced along the way and happily help her navigate this working women’s world. Then find a successful woman to mentor YOU. Avoid the temptation to be intimidated by her…to be jealous of her success. Instead, be inspired that women are achieving great things today and be confident that you can too.
And remember: one woman’s success does not diminish another woman’s success. So let’s retract our claws and embrace our sisterhood. The sanity of our working moms out there depend on it.