I have been reading about Katie Couric’s new book where she says that she’s “brave” to admit she had bitter rivalries with female colleagues and didn’t support women when they asked for mentorship because she was threatened by them. (So disappointing.)
In media interviews, she defended writing that she got “territorial” with other females over her “turf.”
“I think it’s a natural human impulse.”
“And I thought it was brave for me to say sometimes I felt protective.”
“I wish that maybe I had extended myself more and shown people the ropes a little bit more. But I think when people are outwardly kind of vying for your job, it is hard to be generous.”
“Mentorship sometimes feels like self sabotage.”
It’s so disappointing to hear that someone I’ve always admired isn’t an ally to other women.
Unfortunately this happens a lot in corporate America.
Have you ever had someone who didn’t want to help or mentor you because they were threatened by you?
She writes that she was aware that “someone younger and cuter was always around the corner.”
Some women will only befriend or mentor women they consider inferior, not as successful and not a threat.
And those are the women who need mentoring the most.
Hearing how she didn’t stick up for other women at work because she saw them as a threat to her own career and that she felt like she needed to protect her turf is prevalent everywhere.
This is not women supporting women.
We can do better. When we start to see each other as competition we get in our own way.
Unfortunately not all women are supportive of each other in the workplace. Sometimes competition and jealousy brings out “mean girls” behavior in some. I’ve been on the receiving end of this many times.
Instead of seeing someone as a threat, see them as a younger version of you. Freely give your time and advice, and help others without expecting anything in return.
We can all learn so much from each other – from each other’s experiences and stories.
Together we can ensure that we will have strong women leaders in our field for generations to come.
It has never been more important to stand by other women as it is today. You can do that by joining Women Who Wow.
Here’s more about how I feel about Katie Couric.