Women’s Hostility to Women at Work: Myth or Reality

Webinar Details


Susan Strauss




Healthcare Management


All Days


60 Minutes


Are women really each other’s worse enemy or is it just a myth and a stereotype?  What does the research show about women’s hostility to other women, sometimes called bullying, in the workplace?  Bullying is a learned behavior that gets fine-tuned during our school years.  Girls and women tend to bully using more subtle nuanced types of tactics that are relationship-based.  Men’s ways of bullying tend to be more aggressive. Is female-to-female bullying an issue that deserves attention apart from general workplace bullying? Is discussing women’s hostility to women feeding into the stereotype of women’s “nasty” behavior at work?  Perhaps if women are bullying other women they need to be told to “put on your big girl panties” and deal with it, as the saying goes. Do we have different expectations of women’s behavior at work than we do of men’s behavior? If so, could that be playing a role in the perception that women bully women? Do we have a responsibility, as women, to support our “sisters” at work?

Learning Objectives

  • To describe women’s ways of bullying
  • To discuss the theoretical causes and contributing factors of women’s bullying
  • To determine if bullying could be illegal harassment
  • To explore the impact of women bullying their colleagues
  • To identify management’s role in the prevention and intervention of women’s bullying
  • To list the steps to take if targeted by a bully

Areas Covered

  • Theories as to whether women are more hostile to each other than to men
  • Sexism and stereotypes in our perceptions of women and men’s bullying
  • The nexus of bullying and harassment
  • Impact of bullying on witnesses
  • Tort Laws
  • Tokenism

Why Should You Attend

Some do not believe there is a difference in the ways men and women bully, and if there is, what is the big deal?  They may be right.  The research suggests, however, that the two genders do tend to bully using different tactics.  Because women’s ways of bullying are generally subtler, managers may not recognize it as bullying and ignore the behavior thereby giving tacit approval for it to continue.  This leads to poor morale, lack of trust in management, poor performance, absenteeism, and turnover.  This webinar discusses the phenomenon – or lack thereof- of women’s hostility to other women, outlines what one should do if bullied, and discusses management’s role in the prevention and intervention of the behavior.

Who Should Attend

All industries – it is not specific to any one industry though we hear much more about misconduct in nursing.

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Susan Strauss
Susan Strauss

(Workplace, School Harassment & Bullying Consultant)

Dr. Susan Strauss is a national and international consultant, speaker, and trainer in organizational effectiveness and management development. She has established numerous onboarding/new employee orientation programs for both small and large organizations. Her clients are from business, education, healthcare, law, and government from both the public and private sectors. Susan has authored over 30 book chapters, books, and articles. She has been featured on 20/20, CBS Evening News, and other national and international television and radio programs as well as interviewed for newspaper and journal articles.

Susan has her doctorate in organizational leadership, a master’s degree in community health, and is a former RN.