‘Bully’ is a word that stirs emotions in many of us. It may bring back awful memories from your childhood. Or maybe more recent memories if one of your children has had to deal with a bully at school. Bullies make us feel small, hurt us physically and emotionally, and can have a devastating effect on our mental health and wellbeing. But we don’t only encounter bullies at school.
Unfortunately bullying can also take place at work. And for most of us the office is where we spend a huge amount of our time. Having to deal with a bully when you just want to get on with your job is difficult and frustrating. But you’re not alone. One study suggests up to 60 million Americans have been affected by workplace bullying. The same study showed that more men are bullies than women, but women are more likely to be targeted by bullies.
Another finding of the study was that in the 30% of cases where a female was a bully, they are 80% more likely to target other women. Sallie Krawcheck (author of Own It: the Power of Women at Work), calls them ‘Queen Bees’. These are women who have risen to leadership roles, overcoming gender bias and other challenges along the way. But once they found themselves at the top, they seem to make it their job to ‘kick the ladder out from under them’ and do everything in their power to undermine and intimidate the women in their team.
Dealing with a bully is something no person should ever have to go through. Sitting at your desk dreading the moment the Queen Bee walks in and the harassment begins again. And when it affects your day-to-day work and career advancement prospects, then every day in the office can feel like an upward battle.
We’ve touched on this subject a few times in the past (such as How to deal with difficult work colleagues, and Four Wonder Woman tips for when the rug is pulled out from under you). We want you to know that you are an amazing, unique and phenomenal Wonder Woman. Surround yourself with those you love, immerse yourself in positivity and reach out for help when you need it. Our We Are All Wonder Women community is here to support each other through these difficult times, and to work together to find success for all women, everywhere.
If you feel like workplace bullying is affecting your health then please visit one of the many official websites dealing with the subject such as: NHS UK or stopbullying.gov
Have you seen our new online career coaching course for women in the environment sector? Find out more here.
Photo courtesy of Mark Leslie
We Are All Wonder Women is an international movement for female conservation professionals to be inspired, connected, and empowered to create an authentic, fulfilling and happy career.