Why Do Women Bully Each Other At Work?

People often say women are women’s worst enemy and we’ve been wanting to change that statement for a while now. In the Indian context, this phrase is often used to define the long-lost saas-bahu debate, but guess what? It just doesn’t end there. This phrase holds true for not only Indian households but even for various workplaces all around our country.


Every office has a stereotypical woman boss who is known for making her employees’ lives miserable. Now it may seem like old news but there are women who’d rather work for a male boss than a female one. There’s a common belief that says that some women do believe that their female bosses bully them more than the male ones. According to a research published in The Atlantic, the longer the women have been in their jobs, the less likely they will want to have a female boss.


But Why Do Women Feel So?

Women aren’t deliberately cruel. Hell, no one is. Then where does this feeling of bitchiness come from? The modern day workplace scenario isn’t simple. The competition is tough and to win the race of success, we are all fighting each other to get ahead, no matter how many people we knock over our way. Apart from this, there are few conditions that create this toxic attitude.

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  • 1. Internalizing Gender Stereotypes

    Women, often have negative ideas about their own gender because according to a psychology theory, oppressed groups struggle to make sense of an unfair situation and internalize the negative stereotypes from that situation. That’s exactly how women’s psychology at workplace works. For instance, when given a choice to choose a partner for a work presentation, a woman is more likely to choose a man over another woman who might be just as qualified and capable. The stereotype that men are supposed to be the superior beings is rooted in our being.


    2. Most Jobs Are Male-Dominant

    Whenever a woman works in a male dominant industry, they automatically have the tendency of not showing solidarity to the other women in the same industry as them. The competition among women is quite intense. Since only a few of them will make it to the top, and because all the women are competing with each other for those top spots, they don’t share great work relationships.


    3. The Threat Of Favouritism

    Women are known for overthinking a situation and that’s exactly how the threat of favouritism is born. They believe that if they help other female employees, within their company, it would seem like a bias. Hence, they try to blend with men more than women.


    4. The Expected Behaviour

    We all have impressions of how a woman should behave and how a man should behave. While most people are okay with their male bosses being slightly chill and frank, a woman boss is supposed to be poised and serious. A female boss also, in return to show why she deserves to be on the top instead of a man, tries a little hard to be firm, which leads to employees hating her, aggravating a vicious circle of hatred.


    How Do We Fix This Situation, Though?

    We need to identify the root cause of this problem. The path to success for a woman is still too narrow. While they feel like they can barely squeeze themselves through to the topmost positions in their respective industries, expecting them to help others is a bit too much. Of course, we are not justifying the mean bosses here. But if we create a world where we make more (and equal) opportunities for women, judge them a little less than we do now and understand the thin line between a bitchy female boss and a firm female boss, women wouldn’t bully each other as much as they do now. Another step that we can take as women is that we make a conscious effort to bring a change, play fair and fix the situation where we know we are victimizing other females. We need to lift each other up and not pull each other down. To end this, we’d like to conclude with THIS quote from the Women’s March 2018. 


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