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When being bitchy can help you get on; WORK TALK.

Byline: Rachel Mainwaring

WOMEN naively believe they will get promoted through hard work - but quickly realise that one has to "stitch up" colleagues to succeed, a new study showed this week.

Research among women graduates working in male-dominated industries found that they were "appalled" at the internal politics they encountered.

They complained that men in their companies were nasty, immoral, and played power games to win promotion.

Dr Kate Mackenzie Davey, of Birkbeck College, University of London, who interviewed women across the country, said they had all encountered a macho approach to work.

"They realised that to get on you have to stitch people up, stab colleagues in the back, manage appearances, and try to appear better than other people.

"The women naively believed they would be promoted by doing a good job, but they realised that the more they saw of their organisation the more they realised that was not necessarily the case."

The women said they had learned how to stitch up colleagues but were adamant that they would never resort to such tactics to win promotion.

Dr Davey described the research as "depressing" and said it was a sad reflection on the culture of parts of British industry.

"Men are benefiting by doing something that they enjoy, doing down a competitor and getting on in a career.

"Women are constructing themselves as disadvantaged through not enjoying these games, " Dr Davey said in a study paper presented to the British Psychological Society's occupational psychology conference in Blackpool.

A RECORD number of company executives received golden handshakes of more than pounds 1 million last year, a new report has shown.

A total of 14 executives were paid sums ranging from just over pounds 1 million to pounds 9 million, according to a report by a research group.

Labour Research said its survey of firms' annual reports found 75 golden handshakes of pounds 100,000 or more, with some companies making more than one large pay-off in the year.

Labour Research said top executives who had been sacked, left because of boardroom disagreements or simply retired were receiving "phenomenally generous" pay-offs.

"The investigation shows that companies are paying little heed to calls for restraint on directors' rewards, " said the report.

The top payout was pounds 9.1 million to Klaus Esser, who headed German telecoms group Mannesmann before it was taken over by UK firm Vodafone, according to the Labour Research report.

Other pounds 1 million-plus golden handshakes were reportedly paid by firms including Barclays, Alliance & Leicester, the Hilton Group, Glaxo Wellcome, J Sainsbury and Cadbury Schweppes.

A spokeswoman for Unison said: "These figures are obscene when you consider how much money public sector workers earn.

"A million pounds would pay the wages of more than 60 fully qualified nurses for a year. How can anyone justify a golden handshake of pounds 9 million? That is the sort of lottery money most people only dream about."

FINANCIAL website Need An Adviser. com has launched an interactive calculator to help divorcees work out how much child maintenance they should be paying.

The group launched the calculator after finding many people had problems working the figure out using guides from the Child Support Agency.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 6, 2002
Words:532
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