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Why women are female bosses' first enemies

Why are women women's first enemies?

Corporate trainers and career coaches know that a common issue for driven women are other women.
Specificaly, many women who get promoted into management positions are surprised to realize that the first ones to oppose them are other women.

Often it's even former coworkers, who now turn and act catty and rebellious.
Sometimes even spreading rumors on how those women got their promotions in underhanded ways.
That leaves the newly promoted women stumped.

Why does this happen?
Well, part of it, can be good old jealousy and envy.
You know, it goes like this psychologically:

It's OK to have a man as a boss, but if now a woman is my boss, what does it say about me that I have not become a boss?

However, there is something deeper here, and it might not have to do with jealousy at all.

Pat Heim explains that a woman becomes a boss, it breaks the unwritten rule of "power dead-even".
Such as, girls grow up in groups that don't have strong hierarchies in them. Even if alpha females are present, it's rarely women who tell other women what to do. Bossy girls get shunned by other women.

So girls enter the workplace without being prepared to a hierarchical organization.
And when they see another woman get on top of them and now telling them what to do and checking their work, that feels like a betrayal of their unwritten social rules.

Heim proposes that the way to deal with this is to deal with the catty women as if it were a "flatter" structure. Fewer orders, more persuasion and democracy. Less distance, more personal engagement.
Personally, I would add that another option is to have a heart-to-heart talk about how things work in hierarchical organizations. And if they still don't get it, then treat it like a toxic employee. And maybe they can always find a male boss in some other company :).

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