A contestant on "The Apprentice Los Angeles" is the latest to promote a story about the horrors of working for women. But research shows women don't actually hold one another back; when they become senior managers, women's salaries rise.
(WOMENSENEWS)--Jenn Hoffman believes that, sometimes, working for other women ought to be avoided.
The 27-year-old reality TV contestant believes some women unconsciously construct a "pink ceiling" in workplaces, which holds all women back.
"It seems to be almost a sport among women," said Hoffman, a former contestant on "The Apprentice Los Angeles" who was fired from the show by New York real estate magnate and host Donald Trump on March 4. "Women can become very aggressive and judgmental about your weight, your hair, your dress, whether you have the latest Prada bag. Battle lines are drawn between who is friends with who and your friendships directly affect which projects you work on. Now I think women are holding back other women more than the old boys' club mentality."
Hoffman has been using the spillover media attention from her "Apprentice" participation to promote the idea of the pink ceiling. Her public relations firm has contacted press and she hopes to speak on college campuses and in workplaces to warn women against the dangers of building pink ceilings.
Hoffman said working on a team dominated by women on the television show--who competed against another team with a member of the losing team fired by Trump at the end of each episode--made it difficult for any of the women to succeed because of female infighting.
In her off-screen life, Hoffman works for Orca Communications, a female-dominated public relations firm in Phoenix in which the publicists work from home "to curtail the water-cooler gossip."
The idea of the malevolent female manager--and the toxic female-dominated work environment--is riding a pop-culture wave.
Hoffman's pink-ceiling charges come on the heels of "The Devil Wears Prada," the 2003 book and 2006 film chronicling a young woman's first job as an assistant to a cruel and demeaning female fashion magazine editor, and arrive ahead of the September debut of the movie "The Nanny Diaries," based upon the 2002 book about an upper-class couple's maltreatment of their child's female nanny, in which the mother is a particularly nasty employer.