Women can be pretty ruthless to each other in the workplace. Backstabbing, rumor spreading, malicious talking, gossiping, purposely excluding someone from an event or meeting, taking credit for someone’s work or helping to push someone out of a job.
I bet many of you have experienced behavior such as the ones mentioned above at the hands of another woman.
I call this the dark side of working with women.
Those close to me know that I have wanted to write an article on how to recognize a mean girl at work and develop strategies to effectively manage her and succeed in spite of her undermining behavior for a long time. (As an aside, I’ve also dealt with a few “mean guys” too, but that’s for a different article.)
Today, I am lucky enough to work in an environment free of mean girls (thank goodness!), that I don’t come into contact with them from time to time, or carry with me the memory of some terrible experiences of working with some very toxic females. Learning how to navigate them is an important skill to have throughout your career.
Before I delve deeper into this topic, I want to make it very clear that are plenty of amazing, supportive women in the workforce, and I’ve been very lucky to work with a number of them. They aren’t threatened by other women, and instead they go above and beyond to help others succeed. They are true role models. This article isn’t about them. I could have written an entire series of articles about the supportive women who have mentored me throughout my career. This article is about those women in the workplace who do not have your best interests at heart, and how to protect yourself against them. It’s important to remember that while you cannot can’t change someone else, you can change your own behavior, and this article will teach you how to do just that.