After reading the selected article , you will critically analyze it . In this analysis you should ( a ) briefly summarize the article and ( b ) analyze how it relates to specific theories / concepts discussed in the course readings and class sessions to date . Consider using examples from current management stories to illustrate your points . Please use examples from the article to support your analysis argument . This review should be a maximum of 2 pages in length , typed and edited , single – spaced with 1 – inch margins , and 12 – inch Times New Roman font . Please email your completed review as a Word doc of . docx attachment to brucelafleurs . com with the subject line in the format : MIGMT55l _ Articlel _ your last name .
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11/5/2018
Undermined at the Office? How Women Can Cope With Mistreatment From Female Colleagues – WSJ
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https://www.wsj.com/articles/undermined-at-the-office-how-women-can-cope-with-mistreatment-from-female-colleagues-1534956915
MANAGEMENT & CAREERS
Undermined at the Office? How Women Can
Cope With Mistreatment From Female
Colleagues
Mistreatment can range from humiliating put-downs to intentional sabotage, experts say
ILLUSTRATION: ELLEN WEINSTEIN
By
Joann
S.
Lublin
Aug. 22, 2018 12 55 p.m. ET
Do some women undermine other women? It is one of the trickiest workplace issues.
Managerial women often hesitate to speak openly about female colleagues undercutting each
other—and not just because doing so seems to reinforce a negative stereotype. Even those who
have clashed with female colleagues say broader gender bias in pay and promotions pose bigger
career obstacles. And such undermining appears less common than it used to be as more
women reach higher management and actively mentor less experienced women.
Nevertheless, run-ins with undermining women at work can still happen, career advisers and
recruiters say, and there are ways of coping. Among them: Find allies in the office who support
you, says Gail R. Meneley, co-founder of Shields Meneley Partners, a career-transition firm for
top executives.
“You must forge close enough ties that those allies can judge you and your work themselves,”
she said.
Women who undermine other women sometimes do so when they feel precarious about their
own position and view the other woman as a competitive threat, experts say. This attitude can
stem from the belief that there are limited avenues for women to advance in an organization. In
other instances, women who may be perceived as undermining could actually be trying to help
by doling out the same tough advice given to them earlier in their career.
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Mistreatment can range from humiliating putNewsletter Sign-up
downs to intentional sabotage, and targeted
women tend to be outspoken and are often chided
for making their voices heard, career advisers
and university researchers say.
Careers
Leadership coach Perry Yeatman advises the
News, analysis and advice on careers,
management and workplace trends, curated by
Management Bureau Chief Lynn Cook.
female chief executive officer of a family-owned
consulting firm whose board chairwoman
belittles her in front of her management team,
Ms. Yeatman said.
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“My client’s boss makes her feel like she’s
underperforming, and so she wonders if she
really is as good as she believed and her results
indicate,” Ms. Yeatman said. “Women shouldn’t tolerate bad behavior just because it comes
from another woman.”
Workplaces, of course, abound with examples of supportive women helping other women
succeed. Mary Barra became the first woman to head a major car company in 2014 when she
was named chief executive at General Motors Co. Ms. Barra has several female executives
reporting to her and is expanding that pool. Dhivya Suryadevara, GM’s vice president of
corporate finance, will advance to chief financial officer next month.
There remains little agreement on the extent of the problem of women undermining other
women, but recent research sheds some light on such misbehavior. Women are 14% to 21% more
likely than men to report experiencing uncivil treatment from female co-workers, according to
a study led by Allison S. Gabriel, an associate professor at University of Arizona’s Eller College
of Management.
The study, which reflects three surveys covering 1,340 male and female employees in the U.S. in
a variety of occupations and industries, defined incivility as being ignored, interrupted, mocked
or treated disrespectfully. It found that women mistreated by female counterparts reported
lower job satisfaction.
“We are the first to help clarify that it [incivility] seems to be more of an experience women are
experiencing from other women than from men,” Ms. Gabriel said.
Most women at a 2016 program on female rivalry hosted by the National Association for Female
Executives reported that other women had undermined them, yet only a handful admitted to
acting that way themselves, said Betty Spence, president of NAFE.
“Women don’t see themselves as undermining other women,” she said.
For some women who feel undermined, the only recourse is to change jobs. Kerry Jordan, a
financial-services industry veteran, said a female executive she reported to in a past position
repeatedly undermined her, including criticizing her public-speaking skills to their colleagues
behind her back. When the female supervisor nixed Ms. Jordan’s request to accept an outside
directorship on a board, she left the company.
Rayona Sharpnack, an organizational consultant, said she counseled a vice president at a
Fortune 500 health-care company who told the consultant that another female VP stole
customers and territory from her.
Ms. Sharpnack persuaded her client to signal the other woman’s importance by occasionally
praising her competitive prowess during meetings. The complimented vice president
subsequently approached her colleague and “created a couple of things that they could
collaborate on,” Ms. Sharpnack said.
Such moves don’t always work. An executive recruiter tried—and failed—to mend a strained
relationship through respectful chats after placing a longtime friend in the highest humanresources job at an East Coast hedge fund. The friend soon turned on her, lambasting the
recruiter’s judgment and fees in front of the fund’s CEO.
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“I was being betrayed and undermined by the very person I had introduced to the firm,” the
recruiter said. During one face-to-face encounter about her mistreatment, the recruiter said
the HR chief blamed work-related stress and said, “Don’t take it personally.’’
A New York lawyer at an Asian bank curbed her female mentor’s unsupportive behavior by
divulging less. In 2013, the lawyer told her mentor that she planned to take advantage of their
company’s policy and work from home one day a week once she returned from maternity leave.
Her mentor cautioned that “you really are giving up your career plans,” she said, and mocked
the altered schedule, joking sarcastically that she’d “love to work in my pajamas once in a
while.”
The lawyer stopped discussing her personal life with the executive. “I don’t want to share
things that can be used against me,” she said.
Despite her mentor’s dire prediction, the attorney advanced to director from vice president the
year after her maternity leave ended.
—Ms. Lublin, former management news editor at The Wall Street Journal, is the author of
“Earning It: Hard-Won Lessons from Trailblazing Women at the Top of the Business World.”
(HarperCollins).
Write to Joann S. Lublin at joann.lublin@wsj.com
Copyright ©2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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