Cosmopolitan - South Africa
Rise Of The Faux Singletons Image Credit: Cosmopolitan - South Africa
Rise Of The Faux Singletons Image Credit: Cosmopolitan - South Africa

Rise Of The Faux Singletons

Would you lie about your relationship status to get ahead at work? These women do. Shari Nementzik finds out why.

Shari Nementzik

‘I WAS TOLD that I was a shoo-in for a promotion at my accounting firm,’ says Angela*, 29. ‘My boss had even started filling in the paperwork, and I’d already taken on some of the extra responsibilities. But then I announced my engagement. From that day on, there was no more talk of my promotion. I found out three weeks later that a male colleague, who was more junior, got the role.’ When you hear stories like Angela’s, it’s easy to see why a new breed of career women is climbing up the ranks: the ‘faux singletons’ – women who pretend to be single to get ahead in the workplace.

‘Women are concealing that they’re in relationships or that they’re about to get married, and holding off on having kids in fear that they won’t be promoted or enjoy the same level of success,’ says Bianca Mazzarella, an employment lawyer with the firm McDonald Murholme.

A recent COSMO survey found that one in four women thinks she has been overlooked for a job or a promotion because of her relationship status. Stacey*, 32, an accountant, is in a relationship – but all her colleagues think that she’s single. ‘I never mention my boyfriend at the office,’ she says. ‘I have my social media on the highest privacy settings, I told him never to send me flowers at work, and I make sure I’m always free for after-work drinks. I believe I would not be in th


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