The Workplace Bullying Institute studied more than 7,000 adults and found that 40 percent of bullies are women and that women choose other women as targets more than 70 percent of the time.
According to the WBI, women may choose other women as targets because they are less likely to react to the bullying. Another dynamic that may be at play is a belief system that says women have to pull themselves up on their own to get ahead and so should not have to help others.
This belief system may actually limit women's ability to see the need to step in and help.
Being aware of workplace bullying is the first step to preventing it. The WBI offers a three-step approach for responding to bullying: Declare what occurred; assess the impact on you and address that impact; finally, tell someone in authority what occurred.
When you tell the story, be sure to tell it as a survivor instead of a victim.
Jackie DiBella teaches public speaking and interpersonal communications at Genesee Community College and coaches individuals on developing communications skills. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org