10/14/2011 08:31 am ET Updated Dec 13, 2011

Don't Take This Personally, But You Take Things Too Personally

Some years ago, I helped one of my best friends get a job at the company where I worked so she could move back to town and be closer to her boyfriend. Nine months later, I was out of a job. And a best friend.

There’s a poorly-kept secret making its way through Corporate America these days, one I’m sure you’ve heard already. Women in the workplace don’t get along with each other. And we’re not especially picky about who we get into scraps with either. The problem spans income levels, job roles, generations, even the ranks of authority. It’s annoying for everyone around them, it can be emotionally taxing to those involved, but at its worst, it can negatively impact a woman’s career prospects. Negative implications aside, at the end of the day, it really just means there are two or more women working to keep each other down, which is the opposite goal on which everyone reading this right now should be working.

We can’t fix a problem we don’t understand, so let’s get into how this starts.

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