Imagine my surprise when I walked into the lunchroom at work in Sydney one day to hear women gossiping about their colleagues: how this one behaved, how that one dressed, how the other one wore her ‘Greek hair’, who wore hijabs and why. There was all manner of nastiness about skills, personalities, appearance and behaviour. It was all about backbiting and elbowing for position.
It shocked me that these were women talking about women. Listening to the stories of women I coach and groups I facilitate tells me this is not unusual in corporate settings, in not for profits, small business or social environments (and, of course, online). Surely there are enough obstacles for women who work – balancing their caring and professional roles, finding a supportive and encouraging partner, and earning well enough. Whether we are employees, executives, entrepreneurs or solopreneurs, the last thing we need is other women bringing us down.