When women fight at work, it is perceived as more disruptive than a male argument – even if the circumstances are identical.
University of British Columbia researchers found that people were more likely to assess a dispute as damaging to morale when it involved women.
Researchers have called this the ‘catty trap’ – women become known as petty and disruptive when they voice their opinions, which can go on to affect their career prospects, as managers fear they are troublemakers.
“Conflicts between women violate our norms of what is prescribed for women,” explains researcher Leah Sheppard. “We have this perception that women can be really catty to each other, but we don’t think they should be that way.”
But then it is just typical of her to say something like that, isn’t it?
Source: People Management (2013) Forget Feisty If You Want To Get On. People Management. April, pp.9.