Don’t we have enough obstacles in the workplace without having to deal with other women sabotaging our efforts? Why can’t women just get along and support each other in their efforts to advance their careers?
The New York Times this week ran an article, “Backlash: Women Bullying Women at Work”, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/10/business/10women.html that presented statistics to support the fact that 40% of all workplace bullies are women and that women bully other women 70% of the time!
Bullying is categorized as behavior that can include spreading rumors to derail someone’s career, withholding important promotional information, pushing and shoving (yes, do you believe this one?), bad mouthing others, passive aggressive behavior and more.
So why does this type of sabotaging behavior occur in the workplace?
There are several theories:
- Women need to adopt aggressive behavior to get ahead and once they are in a leadership position they still maintain this behavior.
- Women see other women as potential threats and competitors.
- There is not much opportunity for advancement and so women are more competitive.
- Women are being stereotyped as “bullies” but this is not necessarily the case.
- Women are insecure in their leadership positions and feel the necessity to sabotage other women to maintain their position of power.
Here is a wonderful quote from the article,
As we get into the corporate world, 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.
Do you see evidence of women bullying other women in your workplace?
Have you experienced another woman sabotaging your efforts at work?
I would love to hear from you. Please send your comments!