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Let's Face It: Women are BRUTAL to Each Other In The Workplace...

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 Female soliders 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.  



I definitely agree, but why are women so damn brutal to each other? I try to stay "above the fray" as much as I can, but I have been victim of women who aren't interested in playing nice.


As a female HR pro, I have seen this as well. I have a hard time understanding this behavior since it only sets us back instead of moving us forward. I do not feel threatened by other women or men for that matter. I know I am good at what I do, and if they get the promotion over me good for them. I use that as motivation to better myself,not by taking them down, but by supporting and learning from them.

My goal is to be a part of the solution one professional at a time and unapologetically try to be the best at what I do. Laying low when the claws come out is also advised.


Yep, I see ladies buddying up to male co-workers but treat their female co-worker in contempt. Weird but it happens. Maybe it's how people are brought up? IDK, it's weird.


I have certainly noticed this. I tend to work better with male management and feel like I have to navigate many female workplace relationships. It is an odd dynamic but being aware of it and prepared is half the battle.


Umm, you say women are brutal, but is Ms. Arnhart wrong? Is it men running the military (or business) who create this perception of what it takes to get ahead? Women in HR can be brutal. Men in HR can be get along guys who use their "one of the guys" to make it where a woman never could. That's my experience in 25 years in HR. I have been successful through serious hard work and have seen lots of guys successful because they lay low and are one of the guys. Doesn't work for women. Wow, your post was patronizing.


Hey Mms -

I'm totally fine with you disagreeing and saying that your experience is different. I guess where I have a problem with what you outline is your use of patronizing. My experienced with people using that word is that it's code for "you're not a part of the group you're making the observation about, so you don't a have a right to make the observation."

I'm not part of the group, but it's my observation. My track record of treating female fairly is pretty solid.

I find your use of the word "patronizing".... well, patronizing...




The internalised misogyny runs deep in this one.

I prescribe an aspirin (that's for ME because you've given me a headache) and 1 weekend at a feminist retreat, stat!


OK - so I'm patronizing, then someone came out and went nuclear and calls me a misogynist.

Well played. Of course, you don't know me and aren't giving me credit for the body of work that's been going here for for 6+ years daily, but that's OK. And then there's the little details of others on this thread agreeing with me, which mimics what the women in my life say as well. Go ahead and blast.

Again, anyone who wants to take a look at my track record before calling me names should look. I'm going to leave this thread as it and close the comments - which include people agreeing with me and others claiming I'm the enemy.

Welcome to life in the show.


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