Over half of bullied working mums leave employer

Over half of women who have been bullied have left their organisation, according to a Workingmums.co.uk poll.

Bullying at work


The poll of around 100 working mums found nearly a third who have been bullied had fought their case, but eventually left their organisation. Only 18% of those polled said they had fought their case successfully, with 27% saying they had left their workplace without taking any action.

Some 3% had moved to another department and the rest of the respondents said they had never been bullied.

Negative psychological impact

A recent study by academics at the Institute of Work and Psychology at the Sheffield University Management School found just witnessing workplace aggression had a negative psychological impact on workers. They said management and colleagues’ support could mitigate the effect.

However, an earlier study by the charity Family Lives, which found 66% of the 1,500 people surveyed had witnessed bullying at work, found 91 per cent thought their organisation did not deal adequately with the bulllying. Some 43% of those who had been bullied said their line manager was behind it, while 38% were bullied by a collegaue and 20% by a senior manager or executive.

Some 74 per cent said that it had affected their family life and close relationships. A fifth said they had been signed off work with stress caused by harassment while 44 per cent had sought medical advice or counselling.

Workplace Conflict

A recent CIPD study Getting under the skin of workplace conflict: Tracing the experiences of employees, found that 40 per cent of employees reported increased stress or reduced motivation as a result of conflict in the workplace.

The US-based magazine Working Mother says bullying of women employees is more common than men. A recent survey found 55% of working mothers had been bullied, compared with a figure of around 35% for the general US worker population.

One mum who wrote in to Workingmums.co.uk’s legal experts recently stated: “I have had a lot of time off, due to illness [me and my daughter] and my dad’s funeral [I was only allowed time off for the funeral, leading to stress and illness]. My boss is not happy and I feel he is bullying me. However, he has good grounds. He wants to get rid of me now. Can he?”

According to ACAS, bullying is ”offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power…. intending to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient”. The mum was advised that if she could not address the issue with her manager, she should talk to HR, another line manager or put in a formal grievance about it as she could then show, if she was dismissed, that she had used appropriate channels to try and stp the bullying.

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