Women gain worse reputations than men after work conflict

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The old saying “Hell hath no fury / Like a woman scorned” seems to backfire on women who want to recover from workplace conflict: women are perceived more badly than men when it comes to disputes at the workplace.

According to a study, women, as compared to men, are seen to be more unwilling to repair broken relationships after a fight at work. Moreover, job satisfaction is seen to be affected more severely when it comes to conflicts between women, as compared to conflicts between men or the opposite sexes. Yet, the results of the study suggested otherwise. Conflict was perceived by both women and men alike to affect job satisfaction, and both sexes shared the same view on women not repairing relationships after work disputes, the study stated as reported by BusinessNewsDaily.

Perhaps the stereotype of cattiness amongst women has caused prevalence in this perception. Leah Sheppard, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business who co-conducted the study, mentioned that the "negative stereotyping around so-called 'catfights' carry over into work situations", resulting in the bad rep women have to suffer.

This brings to light the fact that gender stereotypes still play out heavily at the workplace. "Hopefully, our findings will help to increase managers' awareness of this bias, so they don't let stereotypes guide their decisions on how they staff teams and leverage the full talent of female employees." said Sheppard.

The research polled responses of 152 workers when looking at three conflict scenarios, and was conducted by Leah Sheppard and Karl Aquino, a professor at the Sauder School of Business. The paper was published in the journal Academy of Management Perspectives, stated the report. 


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