Tools & Tips

Workplace Bullying – Woman vs. woman on the rise says the Institute

A 2010 survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute in Washington state reported that woman vs. woman bullying is on the rise. “When a woman is a bully, which happens 38 percent of the time, she chooses a woman target 80 percent of the time,” explained Dr. Gary Namie of the Institute. Female bullies also more frequently engaged in under-the-radar behaviors such as sabotage: 53.7 percent of female vs. 39.9 percent of male bullies. Capture d’écran 2014-05-28 à 09.17.33

High school may be far behind but many mean girls never grow out of their bullying behaviors.

Do you recognize these four telltale mean girl signs?

Other-directed. Mean girls are obsessively driven by what others think of them. Status, position and appearance is everything. If a colleague gets promoted, gets kudos for work well-done, or lands a plum assignment, a mean girl is apt to feel threatened and respond accordingly. This can translate into lies, rumor-mongering and gossip.

Snipers. These women are skilled in bullying, manipulation and strategy. The HR mean girl who repeatedly made cracks about Kellys office attire is a snark expert. If questioned about her comments, shed plead innocence and claim “Kellys too sensitive.” The fact that her snipes were double-loaded due to her Human Resources position made it even more challenging. Kelly was forced to wonder: Is HR trying to tell me something? Or is this a personal attack?

Excluders. Some women never leave the high school cafeteria. Their ostracizing games continue at mixers, meet-ups, luncheons, and cocktails. They’ll blatantly chat about an event while standing close to a group that was deliberately not invited. They use social media to create FOMO Fear of Missing Out,by posting the juicy details. They may even stay connected on Facebook and other platforms simply to increase the sense of isolation among the excluded.

Idea Bullies. Theres a swarm of Queen Bees buzzing in the tech world right now. At a recent industry event, TechCrunchs Disrupt Hackathon in New York, hundreds of app-builders, mostly men but “a handful of women” competed for prizes. According to a post by Leslie Hitchcock, one of those women headed a team that built an app to help women organize trips to the nail salon. The app is named “Indulge” and instead of generating applause for its hard-won second place finish, the idea ignited a women vs. women social storm. The gist of the criticism against Indulge was its focus on style and fashion.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Are Mean Girls Terrorizing Your Office?.

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