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Nasty or Nurture?

Posted by on May 28, 2009 at 9:20 am.

This title sums up Monday’s New York Times article by Mickey Meese called A Workplace Civil War: Women Bullying Women.  Her article talks nasty-nurture-blogabout the increased stress levels in the workplace due to the economic downtown.  As a result of this stress, studies from the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) have found that there is an increase in “Yelling, scheming and sabotaging: all signs that a bully is at work.”

In fact this “Workplace Civil War,” as Ms. Meese describes it, is more prevalent among women targeting their own gender. Some stats and thoughts on the women bullying women are: 40% of bullies are women. Women prefer ‘their own kind’ 70% of the time when selecting a target.  Lots of thought-provoking arguments on why bullying exists in the workplace.  Check this out for more information.

Appalled is my first reaction, but sadly I’m not shocked  having personally suffered from this lack of sisterhood during my tenure in corporate America.   After so many years of struggle to achieve an equal footing with men in the workplace how did we get here?  This nasty behavior is counter to the nurturing DNA women possess.  How do we, as women in the workplace,  turn the nasty into nurture?  Or do you believe that today’s workplace culture is so toxic that we are beyond hope?

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