When you invite another woman onto a board and she throws you under the bus


I have a rule that if I am approached for a board position in which I am interested, I also recommend another woman or women for that board.

This is the only way we, as women, are going to show the business world that we have the ability to support each other while at the same time giving another woman an (always well-deserved) leg up.

The corollary to my rule is that if I am not interested in that position or don’t believe I am the right fit, I will recommend a handful of other very qualified women for the role.

If we were all doing this, we’d be a lot further along the track of gender (and expertise) equity on the boards – and in the process the same would apply to the C-suites.

But unfortunately the reality still exists where some women feel threatened by other confident and accomplished women (even when they are accomplished themselves) which can often damage this process and taint the reputation of everyone involved.

In one particular situation I was approached to join an advisory board for a high profile organisation.I was thrilled at the opportunity and in fact recommended four other women I believed would be of huge value to the board.

Two of the four I suggested were asked to join alongside me.

The day came for our first meeting. In a table of all men and sat myself and the two other women I recommended. Now if I had not done so, there was a strong possibility that I would be a Lone Rangerette.

As the meeting progressed I could see the business opportunities were endless and my first point of suggestionwas to recommend one of the other women for as particular opportunity that suited her business well.

The next topic was up for discussion. Then within 10 minutes (no exaggeration) I found myself on the recieving end of a negative slur by said woman about why her business would be better off to work with than mine. It went on for quite a while as I remained completely silent. This happened in front of everyone. Thanks to my quick reflexes I was able to prevent my jaw from dropping to the floor or scream out “you bitch” (which is exactly what went through my head).

My look across the table said it all. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Did I say anything to her about it? No. why? Because I prefer my silence to be a message in itself.

There have been multiple opportunities since that day for me to include women for board selection, events and even work however I am now very, very careful on whom I recommend.

This is why you hear women talk of women vs women — because it’s reality! Butit doesn’t mean we all have to fall into that trap, even as retaliation. I will continue to weed out the ones who shaft other women and encourage those who don’t.

Have you had a work or business situation where another woman has ‘thrown you under a bus’? What did you do about it?

About Amanda Rose

Founder of The Business Woman Media. Amanda Rose is also the only 'strategic connector', a brand strategist, keynote speaker and host of Amanda Rose TV. Connect with Amanda Rose on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or visit

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