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Women vs Women - Competition Distorting Relationships?

22 April 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

A study indicates that women may be taking competition with other women at work too seriously and negatively.

The study from UCL School of Management reveals it could be damaging their careers and that women experience competition with same-gender co-workers more negatively than men do because female ‘peer culture’ values harmony and equality and competition is at odds with the norm of female relationships.

On the other hand, hierarchical ranking and competition is natural with males so men’s work relationships do not suffer from competing with other male colleagues, while female co-workers taxes women’s work relationships. Women could struggle to interact with female co-workers, becoming overly cutthroat and mean which can restrict their career progression.

The controversial findings suggest that, for organisations with a majority of female employees, competitive practices may not be the best way to organise work, according to , new research by Assistant Professor Sun Young Lee.
“As a woman who has worked across the world, I’ve long observed that women take competition with other women much more personally than men take competition with other men,” she asserted. “My research provides support to such an observation. Bosses need to be aware that competitive career structures that are effective to men may be detrimental to women. At the same time, women should be aware that taking competition too seriously could be holding them back from leadership positions.”
These findings come from four studies with 797 participants published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Picture: A competitive workplace may not suit women’s temperament argues a recent study


Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 22 April 2016


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