{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Two-thirds of women say they’ve been bullied by another woman at work.\nWhat’s your take on it? I’m pretty sure that we’re equal with men on that one. Should bullying be assigned a gender?", "post_id": "600449fdc2d83c00309b229c", "reply_count": 32, "vote_count": 19, "bowl_id": "58f82c12c1ca28001625de38", "bowl_name": "Female Bosses", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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Two-thirds of women say they’ve been bullied by another woman at work.
What’s your take on it? I’m pretty sure that we’re equal with men on that one. Should bullying be assigned a gender?

likehelpful
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In my personal opinion, men have a hard time giving respect- but once it’s earned, they’re easier to work with.

There are different types of women in the workplace, and those with lack of support give all women a bad name. There are women who think emotionally, and always need credit and attention for what they do- pointing out that they’re always working harder than you no matter what, and expecting the same from those who work for and with them. Then there are women who understand how to tap their emotion when needed, but they don’t lead with it. It’s easier for these women to communicate with men in a work setting, and because of that- other women feel threatened and can often lash out in “bullying” type of ways.

At some point in my life I learned that I could never expect from others what I expect from myself. I get more substance from relationships, work or life, when I focus on doing things to the best of my abilities- and supporting others to do what they feel is their best for them. Just like, I might answer emails on the weekend, but I never set that expectation for my team. It has helped my relationships with females in the workplace significantly.

likehelpful

I was fortunate to work for a fintech startup right out of undergrad and proved myself as a product manager. When I'd been promoted to senior pm, I left and took a role as a program manager at a human-centered design agency. I'd never had any problems with anyone questioning my ability or expertise up to that point, and I'd cut my teeth in a very complex, data and engineering-heavy company.
Imagine my surprise and horror when my age(I was 28 then) was used by a woman with a PhD and no prior work experience as a reason she didn't have to include me in a decision; another woman told everyone I was a junior pm and pulled me into an alley to yell at me when I raised concerns around what she(sales) was promising to the client given the timelines; and yet another woman started a rumour I was sleeping with a co-worker (I avoid dating at work). It was pretty awful. When I raised this with my boss, a guy, he ultimately ended up firing me one afternoon. The HR woman told me I needed to "lead from behind" and ten years later I'm still trying to figure that one out.
In the years since, I've had a couple of really negative experiences with men which were enabled by women. I worked for a big 4 consultancy where I was attacked by a senior manager in front of my research assistant. He pulled the same thing on a female partner and somehow wasn't fired or disciplined (I had what I believe was an out of body experience and went numb when this was happening and still don't quite remember what happened - according to the HR woman, this wasn't enough to say he'd done something wrong).
Recently, I had an experience with a terrifyingly manipulative/gaslighter/narcissist who initially preyed on men and women but seemed to develop a habit of preying on women the last few years. Everyone was afraid to do something about the guy because of his political maneuvering. Last October I submitted a ton of documentation of what he'd done to myself and others. Afterwords, I was moved to another leader but was meant to work on the same stuff because of my expertise. I felt like I was being frozen out of my work and was ultimately laid off a few months ago. In this last case, a few women I worked with warned me that they'd seen others try to do the right thing and get the boot and I was too naive to believe them because the company supposedly has anti-bullying policy. As far as I can tell, this must be to get people like me who will speak up to identify ourselves so we can get booted.

I don't want to get anyone down - I believe we need support from our employers when dealing with bullying, period. It's incredibly difficult to document and it's not exactly clear what you're supposed to do or how to handle a persistent situation, especially one that begins to really impact one's mental health and stress responses.

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I think you’re right it does happen both ways but it matters to note the women with women metric because it’s often surprising and counter to our “cause.” We talk a big game about supporting each other and when a woman bullies another woman - often while preaching “I support women” - it’s hypocritical. And by the way the guys notice.

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I’ll add that my woman to woman bullying experience has been by peers, subs, and even leaders holding me back. I’ve seen it all and it hurts that much more. Then add on that when I hear (or need to recruit) them to engage in women’s leadership and circle activities its feels so dirty and hypocritical.

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Yes, women who bully other women (in my experience) aren’t bullying men the same. They usually are especially hard on other women while treating men very differently. I think gender is important in this statement.

likesmart

Women hold eachother accountable differently than men. Historically, women do NOT support one another. There is the inherit belief (true or not) that there aren't many spaces for us women so we must compete and tear eachother down.

Men know this and use it to their advantage. So the next time, your male colleague wants you to join their bullying session (even if you don't like the other female), Don't!!! You aren't doing yourself any favors. Just saying!

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VP People 1: that’s a bold statement that women do not historically support one another. Why do you say that?

Yes because males often bully males and females often bully females.

Unassigning gender removes the observation that females don’t bully men as often and vice versa

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I dont have a specific take on assigning genders or saying it happens only within men/ women.

Bullying, mansplaining and a dozen of other names they all happen both within the same gender groups & across too.

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Bullying and office politics marry often. I had one such incident that combined both, and unfortunately I said something that came out wrong. I knew immediately and apologized. Sounded better in my head kind of thing. But instead a complaint was filed and I was let go. No tolerance rule. It did not reflect my values or way of being nor was there ever any evidence in 20 plus years to suggest such. It just came out wrong. I was stunned. Now I realize I was better off. I don't want to align with organizations who have no tolerance for imperfection on matters that have nothing to do with life, death, or well being, and every thing to do with office politics and bullying.

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I’m so sorry about your experience!

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I think women are also expected to be "nicer" and any deviation from that is strongly punished by other women and men. So men do things that we literally don't even register, and when a women does the same thing, there are complaints

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The female bullies I’ve encountered in the workplace are generally more passive aggressive, and take things more personally and then hold on to the perceived slights. Two of my office bullies targeted me partly because they felt insecure and didn’t appreciate me being in the spotlight, even though there is enough light to go around, so to speak.

That said, I think office bullies can be either men or women.

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Director of Marketing 1: that’s really smart of you: to hold yourself to your own standards and hold others to theirs. Takes courage too because it means you’re trusting your team to set the bar high enough for themselves. Sounds like it’s working. Big kudos to you.

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I take a long time to hire, but it’s to build a team I trust. When you trust your team and believe in their capability to do the job you hired them for, it’s a lot easier to transition to WFH experiences such as 2020. I’m by no means the shining star example, but I think it takes effort and effort pays off.

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I've been bullied by a male boss. I've been bullied by a female colleague. I'd say that both men and woman can be bullies and they can bully both genders.

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Me too same. Although I think I’ve been bullied more by men than woman. I can only think of one or two women who were shitty to me - but they were shitty people in general!😂

Women in mid-management positions are generally less polite and overtly aggressive. They can potentially be offended by anything.

My chances of getting an interview cleared with a woman are 0 % till date. With men it's 95%. Sometimes if I'm told client interviewer is a woman, my instinctive thought is "why try"?

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In sorry that’s been your experience. I’m actually renown for having a heavy female team. We/They keep adding women while I try to make a conscious effort to find great men. (And I work in Tech!) Not all women are bad 😀👊🏽

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As a Career Cute Coach, I’ve done a lot of work and speaking o this topic including my signature presentation “Why you gotta be so mean? Addressing bullies before your best and brightest go by-by.” According to the Workplace Bully Institute, at least in the US, 70% of bullies are males. That being said, I’m working on a book called “ Does Your Bully Have Boobs? How to address your critical female colleague without losing your job or making enemies.

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likehelpful

No. Bullying shouldn’t be assigned a gender. Wondering if tolerance of bullying varies based on gender(s) of bully/target?? (E.g. is it tolerated more/less when bully and target are the same gender vs. different genders? Or if we as observers are of different gender?

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I don't recognise OP's comment. I am female and have worked over 20 years at EY and have seen senior females generally being very supportive of other females and encouraging them to develop and progress. I think what people consider as 'bullying' has changed over the years, and sure, it sometimes happens or people feel they are being picked on, but it isn't common in my experience.

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I facilitated a discussion for female lawyers a couple of years ago. About 90% of them said they experienced more harsh treatment (we didn’t use the word bullying) from other women in their firms. When asked why, the general consensus was the older women felt like “It was good enough for them - no one gave them a break” when they were coming up the ranks; therefore, they tended to be more critical of younger women.

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I agree with you non-equity Partner 1 . The trailblazers had to fight tremendously hard for change. This has paved the way for the following generations to have an easier time in the workplace. There are still many changes that need to happen, but because it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be I think younger professionals are perceived as whining or entitled.

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Woman can be the worst! In my 32 years of working I found very few women who were willing to help. I always found that sad. As such, I do help others .. men and women alike

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I had a female boss who I thought was my mentor at one point in time. Then she turned out to be a manipulative liar. She was also greedy, money hungry, and did whatever it took to make money, even if it meant sacrificing her child (and she did, literally. She daughter saw her for 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour at night). I worked for her for 3 years and realized 2 years in that I was in an emotionally abusive relationship with her. She would bring me up and then kick me down. One time, she flew across the country just to berate me and a teammate about nothing and we had just launched a new office in New York. This was in public at a restaurant while we had an audience of people watching with their mouths open. That was the last straw and we both quit within 3 months. And when I quit, she continued to bad mouth me to the entire company, even though I was the top producer and employee#1 who helped her to build her company from the ground up. I knew because everyone would come and tell me what she was saying about me. Within 6 months, all of the other employees also quit, one by one, and now that company is dissolved. She would pin our team mates against each other and created a toxic environment. I still have PTSD from that experience. We found out about her lying because one day we started talking to each other and sharing notes about what she was saying about each of us to the other. She was the biggest bully and she was the boss and owner of the company. In hindsight, it was a traumatic experience to go through but I learned many great lessons and from the pain of that experience and I use it to do better for others.

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I was bullied by my woman peer and it resulted in me and other people in the department leaving the company. When I asked her why, she told me that I was too perfect. Others told me she was jealous. Its unfortunate but it happens to lots of women. It was very "mean girls club" there in the department towards the end. Not professional or mature at all. Waste of valuable time and synergy that could've made a positive impact to the company, if we could've worked better together and combine strengths.

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