Blockers

Have you ever been expecting to find a sisterhood or at least a supporting bond among your female colleagues, only to find yourself treated like a contestant in the Hunger Games? Yes? Then you have likely encountered "blockers" and unfortunately your experience is not isolated.
 
There are many good reasons, yes good reasons, why women block other women. Since the majority of executive leaders are still male, downplaying gender can be perceived as a way into the boys club. Also because so few women ascend to the top of the career ladder, other women on nearby rungs pose a significant treat. Avoiding stereotypical labeling associated with feminism can be another driver as can what appears to be our inherent rivalry for male attention. 
 
However, there are great reasons to support other women.  Diversity is good for business, check out my post on The Diversity Dividend, and with over 50% of college graduates now being female, women represent a very large section of the incoming talent pool. Furthermore, supporting the career growth of our colleagues is rewarding at personal level and an excellent way to develop leadership skill. And let’s not forget that being kind to others makes us happier.    
 
So how do you survive the Hunger Games? You either play by the rules eliminating everyone in your path, or you challenge the very concept of the Games.   
 
What is your strategy? 
 
"There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women." 
— Madeleine Albright

(This post was originally published on Professional Women's Perspectives - Gender observations from a working life)

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