If there's one thing I've always noticed as a male HR pro, it's this little thing...
Women are brutal to each other in the workplace. I've been a part of primarily female teams and it's never been pretty. Meanwhile, I was always allowed to gracefully stay above the fray. Primarily, I think, because I'm a dude. I'd love to say it's because I'm an expert in navigating workplace drama, but I think that's incorrect. It's because I like to quote movies and find video games intriguing. You know, I'm a man. Like Mike Gundy.
There's a whole series on this dynamic from the guy's perspective. Guys primarily don't hold grudges nearly to the extent that females do. Guys can let it go. Women seem to generally go after each other and never let up.
Case in point - this gem from Col. Lynette Arnhart, a specialist charged with incorporating women into combat roles by the Army's 2016 deadline. She's no longer in the role after sharing this opinion in an internal memo that broke on Politico:
"In general, ugly women are perceived as competent while pretty women are perceived as having used their looks to get ahead," Arnhart wrote. "There is a general tendency to select nice looking women when we select a photo to go with an article (where the article does not reference a specific person.) It might behoove us to select more average looking women for our (communications) strategy."
Arnhart pointed to an example used in an Army magazine and said it featured an attractive woman "wearing make-up while on duty."
"Such photos undermine the rest of the message (and may even make people ask if breaking a nail is considered hazardous duty)," she wrote.
2 of the 3 deep mentors I've had in my HR life have been females. They were great to me. I'm not sure they were as giving to my female peers. And I know my former peers weren't very giving to said mentors.
Me? I just tried to stay low.