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January 16, 2009

A REFRESHING REALITY

There was a really interesting article in the NY Times a few weeks ago by Peggy Klaus (workplace communication and leadership expert) entitled, “A Sisterhood of Workplace Infighting”. (The article was brought to our attention by IGC member, Rossanna Figuera.


Among other things, Peggy discusses the all too common bullying behavior that goes on between women in the workplace. I think many of us have experienced this in some form or another. So, while the phenomenon may seem a counter-intuitive trend in the face of the women’s movement, present day equality and representation-oriented workplace initiatives, and some of the more positive female stereotypes of nurturing and compassionate behavior, it is not a surprising one.

I have to admit though, reading this made me so immensely grateful and proud of the in good company community and membership. While we were shopping this idea (a community workspace for women entrepreneurs) around to folks during our start-up phase many people, both men and women, expressed concern about the potential for catty and bitchy behavior in a workplace for just women.

While we certainly didn’t expect that would be true - thank goodness the concern was for naught!

Everyday we observe members to be helpful and supportive towards each other, often offering strategic advice, contacts, resources, and ideas. We have witnessed this collaboration and collegial expression even between members in the same industry who could choose to view themselves as competitors.

You can speculate about why IGC is home to these overwhelmingly warm and positive interactions…perhaps it is because we are not all part of the same company. Or perhaps it is because there is a marked (though not complete!) absence of men. Or perhaps it is because as entrepreneurs we experience everyday the benefits of helping each other and paying it forward. Or perhaps it is because we are only a part-time location for even our most frequent members.

But for whatever the reason, I am glad to work with you all! And I am glad to see that there are places where this female bullying doesn’t exist!

Posted by Adelaide Fives

2 comments:

Marilyn said...

What do you do when women business owners at your company have a male client? Do they see them there or elsewhere?

In Good Company said...

Hi Marilyn,

Our members host male clients at IGC all the time!

best,

Adelaide