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Mean Girls Setting Back Gender Equality

What's the Latest Development?

In the quest for gender equality, one part of the problem often gets overlooked: women. That is what Selena Rezvani says, a frequent lecturer before Fortune 500 companies and MBA students on topics of leadership. Rezvani frequently sees women who, after rising to the top of their company, fall prey to the same behaviors that create gender bias in the workplace. She laments female bosses who criticize their female employees on superficial points like their sense of fashion or their proclivity to engage in argument.

What's the Big Idea?

The stereotypical version of competitive, catty women is too often reflected in popular media. Women who are undercutting and conspiring are easier to find on TV than ones who are civil and respectful. Ironically, the latter may be thought of as more repressed; the former, set free to express their nature. It may be, says Rezvani, that women at the top somehow forget what it was like to rise through the ranks or they may think, "it was hard for me, so it should be hard for you." But a little solidarity and sisterhood would be much better.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

 

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