Have you ever found that there’s someone you simply don’t get along with? Everything they do annoys you. Maybe they shoot down your ideas, or try to steal them. They are the Regina George to your Cady Heron.
Has it ever been so bad that you have actually gotten into a verbal spat or physical altercation with this person? If that’s the case, you may want invest in some group therapy because woman-on-woman fighting at work can be detrimental to your career.
According to new research from the University of British Columbia’s business school, men and women perceive conflict between two women co-workers as being more harmful and doing more irreparable damage than conflicts between men.
“Our research shows that when it comes to workplace conflict, women get a bad rap,” said PhD candidate Leah Sheppard, who conducted the study with Prof. Karl Aquino.
Talk about double standards. The study found that a verbal argument between two women would result in harsher long-term consequences than two men duking it out.
“This study suggests there’s still a long way to go when it comes to the perception of women in the workplace,” Sheppard said. “Hopefully, our findings will help to increase managers’ awareness of this bias so they don’t let stereotypes guide their decisions on how they staff teams and leverage the full talent of female employees.”
Woman-on-woman bullying has increased in the last few years as women have officially become 50 percent of the workforce for the first time, according to the Shriver Report. According to a 2007 Workplace Bullying Institute survey, the majority of workplace bullies are men (60 percent), but female bullies target other women 71 percent of the time.
The real problem here is not that women are fighting, but that everyone perceives this fighting as worse than two men fighting.