Just imagine, a team of women working collegially in their ideal jobs. They are doing their best at what they love. Now screech to a halt as the bully (aka She Devil) enters this picture. The dream job morphs into a living nightmare. This is what happens to many women who are victims of workplace bullying. What compounds this scene is that they are somehow taken aback that their perpetrator is another female. But the stats support just such a scenario.
According to a poll taken by the global organization Employment Law Alliance, 45 percent of workers nationwide say they have been abused in their place of employment. But of that number 40 percent of female abusers pick on other women 70 percent of the time. There goes the hoped-for camaraderie.
While men tend to rant and rave about a specific issue or person in the company, a woman will be more creative in her method of attack. There is the gossiping to defame the victim and undermining the work production of this staff member. Women relish in attacking the physical appearance of the worker and even the employee’s family is not safe from underhanded verbal slights by the bully. The bully is smug in her confidence that her victim will not fight back.
The main issue that comes up with taking the fight outside of the place of employment is that women as a group are a protected class under federal law and most state laws, so the employee has great difficulty in trying to file a complaint against her female workplace tormentor. Taking this a step further the US happens to be one of the most lax industrialized countries in the world when it comes to addressing the issue of workplace bullying by failing to create and implement strong laws that would prohibit such treatment of workers.
Unfortunately, bullies somehow manage to have staying power within their companies. But all is not lost. Once the problem is identified, the victim should immediately take steps to create a multifaceted exit plan whereby they are able to leave the job, if necessary, with dignity and the upper hand.
I welcome readers to explore my new website for further information at www.workplacesanctuary.com.