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Have You Experienced a Female Bully at Work?

According to a recent article about female bullies in the workplace, only 40 percent of workplace bullies are women, but their targets are usually other women. (Male bullies, according to researchers, target men and women equally.)

Peggy Klaus, an executive coach in Berkeley, CA, calls women bullying other women in the workforce "the pink elephant" in the room, particularly, she says, because "[we] are supposed to be the nurturers and the supporters.”

So what exactly is bullying and why would women primarily target other women? To hear some opinions,

Bullying is defined as verbal or psychological forms of hostile behaviors that continue six months or longer and include glaring, giving the silent treatment, being disrespectful, or sabotaging someone's success.

One theory as to why women would target other women is, quite simply, that it's easier — they might think another woman wouldn't respond aggressively or confront them. Another theory is that women are another woman's main competition at work, and they might feel that cooperating with them at work could jeopardize their careers.

“As we get into the corporate world,” says one expert, “we’re taught or we’re led to believe that we don’t get ahead because of men. But, we really don’t get ahead because of ourselves. Instead of building each other up and showcasing each other, we’re constantly tearing each other down.”

Hmmm. I'm not sure I totally agree that "we really don’t get ahead because of ourselves" or that bullying is anything other than just straight-up aggression or a bad disposition, or even, passive-aggression. Have you ever experienced a female bully at work?


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