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To find all-female environments really difficult

(61 Posts)
violettttt Fri 25-May-18 19:52:45

I have recently started a new job, and everyone is female, so about 25 women of varying ages. That said, most are under 30.

I was working in a predominately male environment before (about 70:30) and found it very easy. We had a laugh, there were no cliques and it felt very relaxed.

I'm going to sound very sexist, so let me say I know some women don't do this and working with men isn't always easy either, It depends on the individual. But when women are in a group it can often feel like school all over again. Gossiping, cliques, snide looks, secret laughing etc.

In this new job I feel isolated, all the women have their little groups and don't like newcomers getting involve. They all have secret online chats, and I've seen then exchange knowing looks with each other and laughing. They spend their lunchtimes gossiping and it feels like a sixth form common room. I've tried to get involved but it's not very inclusive confused

I don't hate women - I am one! But I'm finding this working environment quite hard to deal with

LeeValley2 Fri 25-May-18 19:58:08

If you want to stereotype a whole sex as bitchy that’s your prerogative, but first have a good look at yourself. What is the common denominator in all these interactions with women? You. So maybe it’s your attitude that needs changing. You sound like you give off a “I’m not like other girls” vibe.

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 25-May-18 19:59:12

I'd look for another job in the longer term. In the short term, I'd just totally ignore any snideness and be friendly to everyone. I'd focus on getting on with work and accept that socialising with work colleagues is unlikely for now. If they are actively bullying you or excluding you then speak to HR.

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 25-May-18 20:00:14

Also, you're finding this particular all female group difficult. No need to project this experience onto all other women.

rebelrosie12 Fri 25-May-18 20:03:02

I know what you mean OP. If rather be in a male environment too. My experience of working with all women was similar but again, of course not every place will be like this. I used to find the woman that started after me really inspirational. She knew they were bitching about her but let it wash over her, genuinely didn't care, but was polite and genuine to everyone regardless. She was awesome, we are still friends years later and I have so much more respect for her than the others. Be that woman!

LorelaiVictoriaGilmore Fri 25-May-18 20:03:10

You're right. You do sound very sexist. Why can't you talk about a difficult work environment without blaming the sex of the people you are working with?

violettttt Fri 25-May-18 20:03:49

@LeeValley2 I don't want to stereotype and I've tried to get involved, but I'm labelled as the newcomer and people don't seem to want to include me. I feel I'm annoying people and seen the looks they've been giving each other when I'm around confused

Moussemoose Fri 25-May-18 20:05:52

I really don't want this to be true. As a feminist I find the idea offensive and wrong. I wish I didn't think this. But......

In the last few years my workplace has had a change of staff resulting in more women and - god help me I I wish this wasn't true - but a girly clique has emerged. I am on the wrong side of the clique I don't cry enough. If there is an issue the person who makes the most 'fuss' is the one the clique sympathises with.

I wish it wasn't true but it is. I am dismayed and distressed by this.

Ophelialovescats Fri 25-May-18 20:06:17

I agree . I much prefer mixed groups . I have several couple groups of friends. I also the women only conversations more tedious and less fun than when the men are there .

AmazingPostVoices Fri 25-May-18 20:07:43

You are new. Give it time.

Meanwhile head down and get in with the job.

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 25-May-18 20:07:49

What are the not including you in? Is it work related or to do with socialising outside of work?

Tbh you're not trying very hard not to stereotype! This workplace sounds crap, not dependent on the sex of those who work there.

If they are actively showing hostility to you and excluding you from work related activities then it needs to be dealt with by management/HR.

violettttt Fri 25-May-18 20:08:08

@LorelaiVictoriaGilmore I don't want to be sexist at all. I said not ALL women are like this but there are certain behaviours you're more likely to find among women, the same as there are certain behaviours you're more likely to find among men.

For instance, you're unlikely to find women laughing about a fart but a group of males may that kind of thing hilarious.

The same as you're unlikely to see a group of men talking about problems in their love lives over lunch.

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Fri 25-May-18 20:08:10

Not really one of the Sisterhood are you OP hmm

violettttt Fri 25-May-18 20:09:57

@SpongeBobJudgeyPants I just prefer mixed environments

NoFuckingRoomOnMyBroom Fri 25-May-18 20:10:34

The OP clearly states she knows all women aren't like this hmm
I work in a predominantly female environment & on the whole we're a welcoming bunch that will have a laugh with anyone. That said I have worked in the sort of place described & it was the females that created the bullshit issues.
There are of course problems with male dominated employments-bound & gagged anyone...?

Polarbearflavour Fri 25-May-18 20:11:37

I currently work in an all female office and dislike it. I find women managers difficult too, much prefer working for men!

LighthouseSouth Fri 25-May-18 20:11:45

Ive spent most of my working life in mainly female workplaces and it's been awesome

No cliques. Bit too much love at times, I like to keep my social life separate but other than that, brilliant. Very balanced, lot less crazy going on.

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 25-May-18 20:13:06

Yeah, women managers are all difficult, it's a well known phenomenon. Probably women should not be allowed to be in charge of stuff given how difficult they can be. Best to let the men do the managing, as they are naturally so much better at it.

AnneLovesGilbert Fri 25-May-18 20:14:17

I spent years in all female working environments and didn’t have this experience at all. They were always smaller groups than yours. It might depend on the industry. I never came across a clique and not to sound snippy but we were always too busy actually working to have time for much gossip or any bitching.

If where you are isn’t for you then I’d look for a new job.

violettttt Fri 25-May-18 20:15:14

The female managers I've had have been much better than the male bosses actually

Chocodrops Fri 25-May-18 20:15:20

Hi Violettttt

I really feel for you. And I don't think it's you at all, group dynamics often work exactly as you describe and it's traumatic for newcomers.

I started a new job back in October and had a very similar experience: cliques, secret whatsapp groups, invites to lunch but then sitting there while others made plans for the weekend I wasn't invited to. It was awful. I'd never experienced anything like it in other female dominated or more gender balanced workplaces.

I am in circumstances where I just had to stick it out. 8 months in it's just started to feel a bit better. Natural staff turnover gave me a chance to make an effort with the other newbies to make sure they felt welcome and gave me someone to share a smile with in the mornings.

Good luck xxx

LakieLady Fri 25-May-18 20:16:10

I'm in a team of 12, of whom only 2 are male. They rarely come in the office (they're known as the "invisible men").

The rest of us are loud, jolly, raucous, really close and supportive and have each other in stitches. No bitching, and if there is, I'm left out of it.

I wonder if it's because we spend most of our time lone working in the community, with challenging clients, so we need to let off steam when we see each other.

Nevth Fri 25-May-18 20:16:52

I'm a feminist. I have a lot of female friends and in general I find these type of opinions to be sexist.

However. I have worked in offices with various mixes and have always felt that a rough 50:50 is the way to go. In very male offices (very common in my industry) there can be a toxic lad culture, which men have told me that they really suffer from. Also, some of the stuff I hear in the pub is offensive to say the least. Equally, in other offices, there have been mainly women and that has been equally toxic. I am not a fan of the "girls' night out" either. I generally find it dull because the group conforms to an idea of what that type of night should be. But somehow when I went for a drink with them individually they were super interesting! It was almost like being a group dumbed it down.

Workplaces function better when mixed in my opinion.

isitfridayyet1 Fri 25-May-18 20:17:10

OP I totally get what you mean. I've experienced the same at certain companies I've been employed by. This can also be seen in other female dominated situations such as mums at the school gates, certain mum and baby groups for example and it does unfortunately feel like your back in high school again. I'm not sure what advice to give but to hang in there, focus on your job and try to tell yourself their personal opinions of you don't matter.

I imagine you have friends and family that like and respect you so sod what these lot think!

RebelRogue Fri 25-May-18 20:18:28

Sadly I know what OP is talking about.
No I'm not involved, no I'm not the problem, no I'm not bitter/jealous, one of the guys or whatever other nonsense.
I'm just watching from the sidelines (because I'm a moody, antisocial sod).

And what started as "banter" and a few jokes here and there because the newcomer is young and inexperienced, escalated to proper bitchiness to her face and behind her back in the staff room/on WhatsApp, to bullying,to quite a serious and tbh disgusting incident that escalated to HR and left everyone else with a bitter taste in their mouth.

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