Hello friends. Can I ask you a favour? Can you join my campaign? You won’t regret supporting this crusade!
Please let me steal a minute of your precious time to tell you what I am campaigning about.
In a nutshell, this is a campaign to raise awareness of female workplace bullying.
I need women and men to come together who are against bullying in the workplace. People who refuse to accept bullying as an acceptable slice of a work environment.
Do you want to see healthy and abuse free relationships between women in the work place? You betcha!
Here are the facts:
Women bully women. Bullying between women is prominent and often relentless, yet it receives little media spotlight. Much less attention than sexual harassment or racial discrimination.
Female harassment is abuse. Work place bullying is abuse. Just because it happens between women doesn’t mean it is any less distressing for the people injured. It is cruel emotional exploitation and it is harrowing for women to experience. And let’s not ignore that some men are also bullied by females in the workforce. But one step at a time. I can only fight one battle at a time. For now, I am focusing on the ill-treatment of females in the workplace by their sisters.
Did you know according to The Workplace Bullying Institute, 35 per cent on American women have reported being bullied at work?
That percentage only accounts for the people who have actually reported the abuse and it certainly doesn’t show the bullying that is not reported or not lodged by Human Resources. The true figure is no doubt much higher. Most companies do not have an anti-bullying policy and some companies will not have a clue what to do to help.
What if it’s your Manager or the chick in Human Resources who is bullying you? We can’t assume that the abuse only happens between equal work peers. Just as we can’t assume that bullying magically ends post high school. Or it’s only a stern male boss who tends to bully. What rubbish. Anyone can bully. And anyone can be bullied.
Debra Falzoi, a communications coordinator who was terrorized by a female boss at a Boston university, says:
“My female bully lied and gossiped about me and others. She used all indirect tactics. I have seen men also use indirect bullying tactics, but they’re much less frequent, and they have seemed solely to protect their ego rather than proactive moves to sabotage.
Falzoi eventually quit her job after reporting the harassment. Her boss did nothing, despite multiple complaints against the same woman.
So how do you know if you have a female bully in your workplace?
They are usually but not always, “rope ladders,” meaning they are women who climb to senior positions, then promptly haul up the ladder right behind them. While some tactically avoid helping other women in their careers, others can resort to passive-aggressive behaviour to protect their interests. They can be hyper-aggressive as they wish to prove themselves in a male dominated workforce or they need to keep you down low to abate their own insecurities.
Women bullies will often befriend you, pretend to like you and then air all your secrets later, in boardrooms or at office gatherings. Many victims are left feeling like they can’t trust women again after being humiliated like that at work.
The problem persists, as there are rarely anti-bullying policies in practice, unlike legal protection against sexual harassment or racial discrimination. Less than one percent of co-workers will speak up and report bullying of their colleagues, despite the obvious emotional torment, fearing their own jobs.
There’s only one truly effective way to report workplace bullying: treat it like a business problem. Report bullying to your superiors and make it a business case on how the bully is affecting your productivity and driving up absenteeism. The minute you talk about how emotionally traumatized you are, you’re unlikely to get any help.
If you make it personal, your managers could brush it off by saying it’s a cultural difference or clash of ideas.
Follow your instincts if you think you’re in a hostile work environment, and report it the right way.
Still unsure if you are being bullied or if you have witnessed bullying? Please read on.
How can we define workplace bullying?
Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that takes one or more of the following forms:
- Verbal abuse.
- Offensive conduct/behaviours (including nonverbal) which are threatening, humiliating, or intimidating.
- Work interference — sabotage — which prevents work from getting done.
- Indirect/Passive aggression which is often invisible to many – you feel uncomfortable, unwelcome and anxious.
- Is driven by perpetrators’ need to control the targeted individual(s).
- Is initiated by bullies who choose their targets, timing, location, and methods.
- Escalates to involve others who side with the bully, either voluntarily or through coercion.
- Undermines legitimate business interests when bullies’ personal agendas take precedence over work itself.
- Is akin to domestic violence at work, where the abuser is on the payroll.
Synonyms that reflect the seriousness of bullying: Psychological Violence, Psychological Harassment, Personal Harassment, ‘Status-Blind’ Harassment, Mobbing, Emotional Abuse at Work
Euphemisms intended to trivialize bullying and its impact on bullied people: Incivility, Disrespect, Difficult People, Personality Conflict, Negative Conduct, Ill Treatment
Not calling bullying “bullying,” in order to avoid offending the sensibilities of those who made the bullying possible, is a disservice to bullied individuals whose jobs, careers, and health have been threatened as the result.
The Relation to Domestic Violence
Being bullied at work most closely resembles the experience of being a battered spouse. The abuser inflicts pain when and where she or he chooses, keeping the target (victim) off balance knowing that violence can happen on a whim, but dangling the hope that safety is possible during a period of peace of unknown duration. The target is kept close to the abuser by the nature of the relationship between them — husband to wife or boss to subordinate or co-worker to co-worker.
Please Join my campaign to raise awareness about workplace bullying. With your support, we can campaign to get work places to take female bullying seriously. It’s not some girls having a little drama – sometimes a woman’s self-esteem is completely destroyed as she is being bullied and tormented day in, day out. There’s no escape. She’s not enjoying the drama and wants it to stop.
I am saying today that it is NEVER acceptable to bully another person. Bullying, is not an acceptable part of work culture that we need to just swallow.
***A campaign badge will be coming soon for you to display on your own blog. Please message me if you are interested in this campaign. I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts.
Imagine if your kid’s school didn’t have a bullying policy? You’d be deeply concerned. You’d demand action! Those same bullies grow up and enter the work force. Why aren’t adults protected? Why do some work places not have clear guidelines on bullying? Does your workplace have clear guidelines? Do you feel safe in your work place? Have you ever experienced work place bullying?
Please answer this poll, thanks very much.
If you want to send me a private message, please use this contact form. Thank you.