Alpha Females

Helping women make the most of their leadership qualities.

Do Mean Girls in School Become Mean Women at Work?

What happens when mean girls grow up?

Do mean girls in school become mean women at work?

Mean girls make it easily into each and every literary work or film. Our fascination and love-hate relationship is obvious - we are seduced by their appeal and power, yet repulsed by their ill-intentions.

In their school days, mean girls will gang attack, they will back-stab one another to find support in other girls, they will destroy their rival to get the object of their love attention, and they will simply connive to stay in power.

What happens when these girls grow up? They cannot simply disappear - where is their place in the world?

Well, we would love to think that some will outlive their evil ways but that seems unlikely considering how adamantly they enjoyed their power as teenagers. Pups in training can change. They really need to want to change. While it is certainly true that some overcome their bad girl images and lose that poisonous attitude, others will become the perpetrators at work. In their own minds, what difference is there between high school and the real world anyway?

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So how will this show?

Not that different from the way they operated in school, unfortunately. The behavior tends to be the same: plotting like a victim to get group support, backstabbing others to find support in colleagues. And then there's the ultimate question: move on to upper management or stay in power?

Would you like to share your experience?

Gabriela Cora, M.D., M.B.A., hosts Dr. Gaby's Take: Make Life Interesting. She’s a medical doctor with a master's in business administration.

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