Why Women Don’t Want a Female Boss


Women are the worst.

To each other. Maybe you instantly know what I’m talking about. Or maybe the suggestion that women aren’t one big supportive sorority gets your feminist juices flowing. Regardless, woman-to-woman abuse is one way we continue to let men rule the world.

Some argue it’s a geography thing — and there are pronounced regional differences.  After nearly two decades in New York, I was shocked by the contrast in day-to-day interactions among women when I arrived in San Francisco. I’d been in New York for so long, I’d begun to question if it was me — until the long, up-and-down glares and tepid receptions to which I’d grown accustomed (and weary) transformed into welcoming grins and warm embraces from female strangers wanting to become friends and collaborate. And for the first time in a long time, I felt I could let down my guard.

Sure, New York has a less favorable male-to-female ratio, plus a notorious “edge,” and biology dictates that mating competition radically transforms behavior. But the open inclusivity I experienced from women on the West Coast converted my hard-earned, callous NY sensibilities into indignation: Why are we so awful to each other?

That doesn’t mean that New York women are all inherently Mean Girls, while SF is a warm, fuzzy fantasyland (Silicon Valley has its own gender trouble). But we can’t just dismiss NYC as an anomalous outlier in the shameful way we women treat one another.

We don’t hear about this phenomenon too often because women fear being judged by other women as “bitchy” women-haters if they dare speak the truth: that some women just aren’t that nice to each other. But denial won’t change the current contentious state of the sisterhood and its ripple effects.

A recent Gallup study showed that while both genders prefer a male boss — sad enough — more women have this preference than men (39 percent compared to 26 percent). Why don’t we want to work for each other?

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