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Does sisterhood exist at work and if not, should it?

(12 Posts)
TheRealTillyMinto Sun 25-Sep-11 12:58:44

I have only worked closely with one women throughout my working life of 16 years. She was a PITA for reasons unrelated to her gender.

I would like to hear of any sisterhood experiences you have of working with women. Or should gender not play a role at work?

KRITIQ Sun 25-Sep-11 13:06:42

With the exception of one job, in which I was often the lone female at a senior level in a very male-dominated field, I have mostly worked with women in female-dominated fields. There have been individuals who have been major PITAs, but I think that has been to do with their individual personalities, dislike of change, lack of commitment, that sort of thing than to do with their gender or the fact that the workplace has been predominately female.

I've had amazing support and mentoring from women and hopefully am doing the same for others.

AlysWorld Sun 25-Sep-11 13:29:04

Best time I had at work was in an all female team. Was great.

Now it's mixed, and I have women and men that I would say really look out for me, and also women and men that don't.

Think there's much more to it all than sex tbh. I don't think the things correlate. It's a lazy stereotype that all women teams are nasty, or all male teams are crass. Of course there's examples that fit the stereotype, but stacks that don't.

In terms of general sisterhood, for sure I look out for other women and be aware of and challenge the subtle prejudice that gets bandied around.

fluffles Sun 25-Sep-11 14:11:46

women are possibly slightly in the majority at my work, so no, i don't think that we should look out for each other above our male colleagues.

maybe where women are the minority... i don't know... i was a female physics student - one of five among 50 men, we didn't hang out together at all, we only got to know each other when we shared a dorm on a trip, we all had our own groups of friends among the male students.

HeavyHeidi Sun 25-Sep-11 15:52:06

I work in a very male-dominated industry/company and I really feel the support from other women there. When I was last promoted, almost all of them came to congratulate me and told me how good it is to see women in management positions. I'm very lucky.

scottishmummy Sun 25-Sep-11 19:49:39

there is no sisterhood imo.there isn't an automatic affinity because of gender. cannot definitely say women share same ideological,attitudinal beleiefs as resulyt of gender or experience

a cursory glance of mn topics and the range of pov, and vociferous swop of opinion no there is no sisterhood.nor do i think there are shared socio-political beliefs based upon gender

scottishmummy Sun 25-Sep-11 19:53:09

i have been very fortunate to work with v talented makes and females
have not seen any evidence of sisterhood as such,but i imagine if you worked in a v alpha male culture the company or humour of another woman would be much appreciated

Bohica Sun 25-Sep-11 20:04:15

I like to think we have. Our company is V. male dominated and I only have 4 female staff members that I look after in a team of 40+. I hope they know I look out for them a litle bit more than I do the males, if I see one of them looking a bit off form I engineer a coffee break at the same time as theirs to check they are ok and if someone is off sick I make time to ask about them and listen to what has been happening.

When we have had staff issues involving both male and female staff I make a point to let them know I'm here if they need a sounding board as all the main management are male and I am he only seniorish member of staff.

That's not to say I haven't had some staff that are unreachable and unwilling to form friendly working relationships.

Devlin11 Mon 26-Sep-11 21:23:47

I don't think there should be any such associations at work. Professional decorum, and a "mission first" attitude is all that matters. If there are issues related to the working policies and practices that a company has that need to be discussed, then go through the appropriate channels to do so. If individuals are having a hard time at home and it is effecting the work environment, then an on staff counselor, or a mental health practitioner needs to be involved.

Work is about two things....production and customer service.

It could be the production of healthy people from sick ones, or ignorant students to cognizant students, or even raw ore to metal bars. It does not matter.

The entire idea that work is anything except work is what has driven government to excess spending over time wasted on a task, and driven private corporations to seek cheaper employment in other countries.

blackcurrants Tue 27-Sep-11 12:11:03

I work in a fairly female-dominated area, (though not yet at the top hmm) and I've experienced excellent mentoring and advice from my female bosses. And the male ones, tbh. What I've really benefitted from is learning how to run meetings, conferences etc in a fairly communicative, female-heavy environment, so I was actually listened to as a junior colleague and not spoken over as a nice young girl might be in an equivalent, but male-heavy department (I've heard stories).

I engage in a different type of 'sisterhood' in terms of the professionals I actually employ (dentist, doctor, lawyer) in that I personally hire women whenever I can. In classrooms I am rigorously fair on calling on female and male students equally. There can be a tendency for classes, specially seminars, to be dominated by male students' voices. This is perceived as 'normal', to the extent that it was found in one study, that when the professor called on male and female students exactly equally the class thought that the female students had talked too much.

I don't just make an effort to call on equal numbers of male and female students, I also make sure that if a male student re-makes a point made earlier (and ignored) by a female one, I (and then he) must acknowledge what's been said earlier. They're really not very deliberately sexist at 17/18, so I think of this as a prime time to make an intervention!

anniemac Tue 27-Sep-11 12:30:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anniemac Tue 27-Sep-11 12:31:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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