Remember back in school and University, how slumber parties were huge? Poking fun, watching movies and having heart-to-hearts seemed all too natural for us girls.
Recently, at an event held in Dubai for women in business, I found myself surrounded by smart, talented women who were making their mark on the UAE landscape. I noticed their flawless frames and perfectly done hair. Stilettos and dresses, they looked domineering, intimidating and respectable.
I love her shoes. I love her necklace,
I thought to myself. I never told them that though. Tut tut. No way.
That moment’s hesitance turned into a reflection.
If you’ve worked in the UAE for a few months, you know the way business gets done among young men [and sometimes old – depending on the culture] is often casual and social – like everywhere else in the world. They talk football, cars, comics and voila, you have got yourself a deal. It’s the ‘boys’ club.’
We, however, often find ourselves boxing women out from the moment we meet – based on what they’re wearing, their shoes, and their hair color choice.
The overriding sentiment with ex-college friends, clients and other women we meet in business should be one of supportive camaraderie, not competition.
Keep this in mind the next time you see yourself judging a woman in a professional setting: she’s a friend, not a foe. Go out of your way to help, ask her about her favorite place to eat, get to know her, and surround yourself with a professional slumber party.
When you cross paths at work again, it’ll work well for both of you. Calling in favors, referring friends and all that becomes easier when there’s a girl-friend there to help you out.
All in all, if there is a wall to climb [and I think there is], it’ll be easier to stop throwing rocks at the wall, blaming men for erecting it [they didn’t], and give each other a boost to climb.
After all, it’s easier to break walls down when there are friends on either side, don’t you think?
Have you ever encountered professional jealousy among women? What do you think is the best way to counter it? Tell us in the comments below.