women working with women, why its so hard

Nurses General Nursing

Published

Its like women have to "compete" with each other and they are so catty. I never had a problem working with men, but working with women can sometimes be stressful. I always heard one talking about another, then acting like a friend to the one they were just talking about, two-faced, competitive, etc. I now work for homehealth and Im on my own, and I like it much better. There is none of that to deal with, but I just wonder why it has to be that way. I went up to my old floor yesterday to get an IV tubing set because the company didnt send one to my patient, I felt so out of place. I at least thought my old co-workers would say "hi" or ask me how I lilke my new job, etc. But I felt like an alien. When I worked with them, I was always the one who helped everyone who needed help, I was there for them when they were upset, etc, but now they act like they dont even know me. I thought they would miss me, but I guess i was wrong. Looking back on it, I guess they were pretending to like me when I worked there. I reviewed the years I worked there and I honestly think I was "too nice", and now I dont understand how women can be that way. (I am a woman). I was a victim of their slander when I worked there too. Anyone else have a problem working with other women?

TrailBlazerRN

41 Posts

Specializes in Burns, ICU, Plastic Surgery.

What you just recapped there is very true. I hang out with a lot of girls and there's always some new type of drama no matter who I'm with. From experience, guys are more upfront about things, and do less of the "going behind someones back" type of thing. I'm not a nurse yet but I can imagine it would be similar to the stuff that goes on in a dorm full of girls. Just continue to be the helpful and friendly person that who are, and don't let that immature type of stuff get to you. Be glad you don't have to see it everyday anymore. ;)

RNperdiem, RN

4,592 Posts

I read your post a couple of times, and what stands out for me is that your feelings were hurt that you were barely acknowledged by the people you used to work with, the people who maybe you thought of as sisters-in-arms.

Maybe being nice had nothing to do with it; maybe the other nurses were having a bad day.

I have learned to make the distinction between "friendly acquaintances" and "real friends".

Men seem to have a more clear division between the two categories than women.

My husband works in a 90% male engineering office. These guys rarely discuss personal matters with each other. Sports and current events maybe.

They know very little of each others' lives outside work. I doubt they know the names of the kids of the guy who has worked next to them for years.

talaxandra

3,037 Posts

Specializes in Medical.

It sounds like your workplace to me. The overwhelming majority of nurses I work with are female (maybe half a dozen guys out of fifty or so nurses) and we don't have an issue with back-biting, malicious gossip or anything. We have a facebook group for current and former staff members, including doctors and allied health, and most of my friends are people I've met through the ward.

rngolfer53

681 Posts

It sounds like your workplace to me. The overwhelming majority of nurses I work with are female (maybe half a dozen guys out of fifty or so nurses) and we don't have an issue with back-biting, malicious gossip or anything. We have a facebook group for current and former staff members, including doctors and allied health, and most of my friends are people I've met through the ward.

One thing I noticed as a guy, is that being male was definitely an asset in employment interviews. Managers--more than one--have told me guys bring stability and a lack of drama.

That said, any workplace, regardless of the population of males/females, needs strong management to function effectively.

Seems to me, after working in the energy industry for 25 years before nursing, that nursing suffers from putting people in management positions with little supervisory training or experience, and little support in those tasks from competent professionals. While respect for the manager's clinical skills is vital, it's not in itself enough.

Managing people is going to be especially difficult when the new supervisor was drawn from the rank and file of the supervised unit. I would not accept a position managing folks that were my friends and equals. It's a script for a very difficult time, at best and failure as the more likely outcome.

Cassaundra

52 Posts

Specializes in OB-GYN.

Part of what contributes to this type of behavior is age and where people are at in their lives. The young, single women are more worried about fitting in and having people to do things with outside of work - think highschool. The married/divorced, more mature women who have families and a life outside of work are interested in doing their jobs and going home. Just something to think about.

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

I worked with men for many years. I would choose a male workplace any day, for just the reasons stated before. They are at work to work. Discussions center around getting the job done, not on somebody's personal life.

leslie :-D

11,191 Posts

i don't want to stereotype, but i do feel that many women are about the drama, sprinkled with a lot of passive-aggressiveness.

i dunno...i've never been comfortable around women/girls.

even in grade school, high school, i was a tomboy and never appreciated all the drama/gossip/victim mentality.

and i see a lot of this nonsense, carry over into adulthood and as a result, on the job.

thankfully there are less women like this, but still far too many.

i'll keep to myself thank you, or have an interesting game of cribbage w/one of the guys.

no 'boofing' allowed, though.

i'm still girly-girl when it comes to that stuff.

leslie

Specializes in Med/Surg, Home Health.

Yes, it did hurt my feelings. Ive been up on the floor twice since I quit and it was the same response. Im fine now, just glad to be away from it. But to be the type of person I was while I worked there (helpful and compassionate toward them), it was very disappointing. There were a few who were happy to see me, but it was a limited few. And during the time I worked there (4 years), we all did know about each other's lives outside the hospital. We knew when one of our kids had a birthday, if one was having marital problems, etc. We all knew alot about each other, most would gossip about it behind their backs, but I tried to stay neutral with that type of behavior. So naturally I thought I was respected, but I guess not. It was very high-school-ish there. Women do tend to be more malicious than men. Men tend to be more direct, rather than passive agressive.

Music in My Heart

1 Article; 4,109 Posts

Specializes in being a Credible Source.
nursing suffers from putting people in management positions with little supervisory training or experience, and little support in those tasks from competent professionals
This is a common problem in the high-tech industry as well. What makes somebody a good nurse, or a good coder or engineer, are not the same things that make somebody a good manager. And yet, it's often those people who excel at their trade who are elevated into management positions.

Music in My Heart

1 Article; 4,109 Posts

Specializes in being a Credible Source.

As a guy I would say that things between guys tend to be more upfront and in-the-moment. Typically when there's a problem between two guys it gets brought out and argued out, sometimes quite heatedly. Generally, though, once it's over it's over and doesn't simmer into a low-level conflict.

It seems to me that guys can go from peace to war to peace again fairly easily and quickly. The gals seem to adopt a low-intensity ongoing conflict.

It's been interesting because I have received so much encouragement from older nurses for guys getting into the field and it's generally been for exactly this reason... they say that guys alter and improve the workplace dynamic.

That said, I'm not sure I'd want to work on a unit with young, single guys and young, single girls. Nothing can make a guy act like an idiot quicker than trying to show his plume for the ladies.

Higgs

109 Posts

Specializes in Med/surg. ED. Palliative. Geront.

With regard to managers, this explains it all nicely...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle

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