More than Half of Women in Workplace Bullied

More than half of women are bullied at work– often by members of their own sex, according to the largest survey of its kind ever conducted in the United Kingdom.

The gender equality group, Opportunity Now, and PwC, an international  professional services group, commissioned a survey that included interviews with nearly 23,000 women and more than 2,000 men.

The group recently issued a report,  “Project 28-40,”  which urges employers to recognize that “harassment and bullying still occur, despite well-meaning policies. Call it out, deal with perpetuators, and make it simple and straightforward to report.”

Helena Morrissey, chairperson of Opportunity Now, said the key  to improve the workplace for women should be training  excellent managers; this will  achieve “much more than yet another initiative  or programme.”

Fifty-two percent of the women who responded to the survey said they experienced bullying at work within the past three years. The rates were highest for Black British / African /Caribbean women (69%), women with disabilities (71%), bisexual (61%) and lesbian and gay women (55%).

Without being specific, the report states that  the biggest enemy facing women in the office or other workplaces may be other women.  The researchers conducted ten focus groups to gain insight from the survey findings.  “Women often experience bullying by female colleagues and line managers, a point echoed by focus groups participants who thought female bullies felt threatened by potential and ability and so exploited their position or authority to undermine,” said the report.

More than one in four of the women surveyed said they had experienced overbearing supervision or misuse of authority, or were deliberately overloaded with work and subject to constant criticism. One in six of the women experienced exclusion and victimization or were intentionally blocked from promotion or training opportunities.

The researchers conclude that the data shows the extent to which workplaces are “dysfunctional, inefficient and fundamentally unjust” to women.

An additional 12% of women reported experiencing sexual  harassment within the past three years. One in eight said they had been sexually harassed – defined as “unwelcome comments of a sexual nature.”  This includes unwanted physical contact or leering, asking for sexual favors, displaying offensive material such as posters, or sending offensive emails or texts of a sexual nature.

Comments

  1. Bullied female says:

    I think one of the reasons for women being bullied by other women in the workplace has to do with scarcity of jobs. We all know that women hold fewer executive positions than men, and the ones who do have positions of power have to fight to keep them, as the threat of being replaced continues to grow in this economy and with ageism and sexism in every single field.

    I know how fearful women are in the workplace, as they are also generally treated as something easily disposable.

    As a psychologist I am very sad at the state of our business practices and what all women face in the employment sector in our country. It will also be difficult to watch the horrible beating that Hillary Clinton will take by daring to run for President – as her imperfections as an older woman fuel so much hatred and rage by so many. But, I still believe that a female President would finally allow our country to look at its treatment of our women & discrimination would finally be forced to be examined in the political sector.

    We as women have to stand together, or we will all continue to face harsh discrimination throughout our lives. Isn’t it time that we all stood together to fight back? This is our chance! It may not come again for another generation, so it’s time to stand as one now.

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