There are certain types of women who hurt the career-advancement chances for all the other women. Let’s face it, women have enough challenges at work without being sabotaged from within their own ranks. Here is a list of the worst offenders
The Crier – also known as the Damsel in Distress– This is the woman who breaks down and cries hysterically at work when under pressure. We are not talking about someone who has had an actual breakdown. No, this is the woman who deliberately turns on the fake waterworks as a tactic to avoid doing any difficult assignments. This tactic is much less common than it used to be since it only works if the woman’s boss is a man. Usually a man that finds her physically attractive and who can’t resist rushing in to save the “damsel in distress” by doing her work for her. A female boss, on the other hand, will not put up with a crier, and the crier may soon find herself as an unemployed damsel in distress.
The “Crier” hurts all working women since (even though it is totally unfair) her actions reflect badly on all the other women in the office. When The Crier turns on the tears there is always some male joker who quips “that’s why women don’t belong here”, or quotes Tom Hanks by saying “There’s no crying in baseball!” When a male worker does something idiotic, no one ever says, “that’s why we shouldn’t hire men”. Male workers are judged on their individual attributes. However, all the female workers are blamed for the bad behavior of any one female employee.
The Woman Hater – This type of woman is very hard to understand, but unfortunately also very common on the workplace. She is friendly and helpful to all the men in the office, but for some unknown reason goes out of her way to sabotage the careers of any other woman she works with. She offers no help to the other women, spreads vicious rumors about them and never misses an opportunity to talk down the accomplishments of the women she works with. Somehow she considers all other women as threats that need to be eliminated in order for her to thrive. There is probably some deep-seated Freudian reason why she does this, but we have yet to figure that out.
The World’s Only Mother – This is the first- time mother who suddenly acts like she is the only working woman in the world ever to have a baby. She wants to get special privileges, time off and working conditions that are totally beyond the company’s standard policies or legal requirements. By the way, she showed absolutely zero interest in the company’s maternity policies when other women in the office were pregnant. No, she wants special rules just for her. The most well know and outrageous example of this was Marissa Mayer. She was a new mother when she became head of Yahoo, and had a special nursery room built next to her executive office so that she could bring her baby to work every day. Marissa Mayer did that at the same time she banned all Yahoo employees from doing any work remotely.
This new policy was a slap in the face to all the low and mid-level working mothers who relied on sometimes working remotely so that they could take care of a sick child. Working remotely had allowed Yahoo employees to work if a baby sitter did not show up or if the day care center unexpectedly closed. Those lower lever Yahoo women did not get private nurseries next to their cubicles. They had to choose between taking care of their kids, or missing a day’s pay.
Yahoo was acquired by Verizon in 2017. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was ousted, but got a severance package of approximately $260 million. And all the other working moms who used to work for Yahoo? We are sure that Marissa will share her severance pay with them any day now. Any day. Of course, the issue of top executives getting golden parachutes while the lower ranks get no severance is not unique to women. However, the burden of childcare does still fall disproportionately on working women. It only makes matters worse when the women who achieve the top ranks ignore the child-care needs of the women who work below them.
There has been a huge amount of reporting about how most women have still not broken through the “glass ceiling”. For that ceiling to be shattered forever is going to take a group effort, and the realization that certain types of selfish behavior by some women hurt all women.