A Little About Gender and Workplace Bullying

by Jul 18, 2012

At the International Association for Workplace Bullying & Harassment I had the honor of hearing Denise Salin, one of the foremost researchers of workplace bullying, speak on the topic of gender as it relates to bullying at work. So here’s a few tidbits, as told to me, and 250 other attendees, by Denise Salin.

• Women are more likely to self-label as a target of bullying than men

• Women are more likely to label their past experiences as bullying when discussing them with others

• Women more often define bullying as emotional abuse and professional discrediting

• Men more often define bullying as manipulation of work

• Men emphasize victim characteristics more than women

• Women are more likely to conceptualize bullying as an organizational problem, with organizational antecedents and consequences

• Both men and women experience negative health as a result of being bullied, although the effects seem to be more poignant for women

• Women are more likely to seek social support and avoid the bully, while men are more assertive

• Male HR managers are more likely to refrain from taking action

• Gender of the target, perpetrator and witness all effect whether the witness labels what they observe as bullying (I didn’t catch exactly which gender labels what)

• Witnesses do not think men suffer health consequences

• Targets who exhibit gender-incongruent behavior are more likely to be bullied

• Research does not yet show whether gender matters in terms of job satisfaction, commitment, intention to stay, absenteeism, etc, as they relate to workplace bullying

• Gender is relevant for experience of bullying and for intervention purposes

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About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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