January 4, 2012
Do Mean Girls Win?
New research shows being too agreeable at work can adversely affect your paycheck, so the attitude that you have to be a “mean girl” to get ahead doesn’t seem to be losing steam.
“Disagreeable” women make nearly $2,000 more a year. And while male workplace bullies give women and men an equally hard time, women pick on women more than 70 percent of the time.
Is it worth it? And does this attitude really advance your career? Bernadette Boas, author of Shedding the Corporate Bitch, says no.
“There are so many women fighting for the same big-time jobs, and the corporate environment can breed this mentality if women don’t think they have what it takes,” she says.
“But using skills, talents and mindsets as opposed to being manipulative means you’ll be more successful in the long run.”
While more agreeable women earned less, studies show they were considered more effective and better candidates for management.
Christy Whitman and Rebecca Grado, authors of Taming Your Alpha Bitch, agree. “The tactics needed to get us where we are today definitely served their purpose, but they’re now holding us back,” says Whitman. They add that women who confuse forcefulness with true power ironically end up dis-empowering themselves and that it’s better to “command rather than demand.”
After channeling the “bitchy mindset” so often, “I was full of angst and attitude,” says Boa. To snap out of it, she didn't need sugarcoating. Rather, “I needed to be told this wasn’t going to get me where I wanted to go."
Some have a different interpretation of the data, saying "disagreeable" women may just be better negotiators – and there's nothing wrong with that.
Bonus PINK Link: The mean girl attitude could be hereditary. How to deal with the daughter of a narcissist in our online exclusive.
By Brittani Banks
“During assertion, we move toward another; during aggression,
we move against another.” Georgia Lanoil
*Supporting images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Stuart Miles and photostock.