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Women in Technology

A community for all professionals in IT dedicated to encouraging and empowering women who are currently working in the technology sector.

Women vs Women

20 October 2009  |  3490 views  |  0

It has certainly been a busy week when it comes to female related news. So many things have caught my eye that I have wanted to blog about, I don’t know where to start. So I’ll start at the beginning!

I saw this article in HR magazine saying that over a third of young female employees suffer from bullying at work. This abuse ranges from excessive monitoring to insulting remarks and two thirds of the women affected said the bullying came from more senior women. At first I found this shocking, but then I recalled some quotes we’ve had over the years from women who have faced problems, not from their male managers, but from female colleagues, and realised that maybe the problem of women vs women is more prevalent than we thought. So I pulled out some quotes from female technologists that we have surveyed over the last couple of years that have touched on this issue:

  • “The biggest obstacles that I have had to face have all come from women, not men. Some women see it as their solemn duty to bully, bribe, undermine, tease and generally obstruct in any way possible a woman who chooses a technical career. This starts in junior school and continues all the way to the boardroom! We need action to re-educate the ignorant section of the female population that it is not a threat to their femininity if some girls choose this career path.”
  • “As an ambitious single woman in a technology company, I sometimes get frustrated by the extent to which some working mothers are carried by their peers.”
  • “Female managers who do not have family are often ‘worse’ than men towards the needs of mothers.”
  • “Most women senior managers have come up the ranks making enormous personal sacrifices and see no reason why the rest of the female population cannot do the same.”
  • “[Men and women's leadership] styles differ totally! Generally much easier to work for a man!”

Of course there are lots of women that have faced problems from male colleagues too, especially in IT as it’s such a male dominated field. But it struck me how many women were working against each other, when in fact female solidarity is crucial if we want to work together and break the glass ceiling. We need more positive female role models, encouraging women and helping them, not providing yet another obstacle.

Have you experienced a tough time from a female manager? Share your experiences – and your words of encouragement – here!

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