Why do women bully other women at work?

| Oct 22, 2020 | Sex Discrimination |

Female-on-female workplace bullying receives little attention in the media, but nevertheless represents a serious and ongoing form of sexual harassment that many female workers face on a daily basis. If you are a women who has become the bullying target of one of your female coworkers, you know what a devastating effect this constant egregious behavior can have on your psyche and your work production. 

GetPocket.com reports that female bullies fall into the following three categories: 

  1. The indifferent female executive who passes off her late-day or Friday afternoon tasks to you and other females, giving the excuse that she has too many things on her plate to handle them 
  2. The “queen bee” coworker who, from her position of upper-level management, routinely verbally assaults you and all other women below her in the company hierarchy 
  3. The passive-aggressive female executive who pretends to be friends with you and all other females, but in reality constantly criticizes your respective appearances, competency, work ethic, etc. 

Bullying causes

While nothing excuses vicious, hurtful bullying, researchers say that America’s employment history, and women’s stereotypical low positions within the corporate hierarchy account for much of the female-on-female workplace bullying that goes on today. For instance, women who have broken through the “glass ceiling” and attained executive status still represent a minority of working women. Consequently, they often feel that mentoring other females could threaten their own hard-won positions. In addition, they know they clawed their way to the top, making numerous personal sacrifices in the process. They therefore expect other females to do likewise. Finally, some female executives lose empathy for their female coworkers because they spent years “thinking like a man” in order to get ahead. 

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