1. #1
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    Thumbs down Bullies In A Skirt

    I got this article from one of our "online" Safety Bulletins.

    Can Woman Be As Brutal In The Workplace?

    by michaelcapanzzi at 08:46AM (CST) on February 26, 2004 Permanent Link

    My boss, the bitch February 26, 2004

    Harassment, isolation, ridicule. They are the stock-in-trade for the workplace bully. When the bullying is done by a woman, it can also be quietly methodical. Michelle Hamer reports.

    Over four years, Angela Timms's happiness and self-esteem were systematically stripped away. The 57-year-old suffers depression, posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety and has been under the care of a psychologist for the past two years after enduring workplace bullying.

    We've all heard such shocking stories before, but what makes Timms's case unusual is that the abuse was perpetrated by two female bosses who led a group of younger women to erode Timms's self-esteem, hamper her ability to perform her role, to socially isolate and ridicule her and eventually contribute, along with a bullying male boss, to her nervous breakdown.

    "When I started at the job the girls in the office were bullying this (male co-worker)," Timms says. "There were about six or seven girls. The office was run by a lady who led the bullying against him. I wouldn't be involved in it. They would shout at him, intimidate him and belittle him. I couldn't believe the shouting, it was just awful. I saw him almost crying a few times.

    "I said to one girl of about 19, 'Why are you doing this to him, it's upsetting him so much?' and she said 'I enjoy it'." Eventually the bullying was directed toward Timms after she was made a supervisor above the other women.

    "They ignored me, wouldn't speak to me. The worst thing was how they isolated me and how they would ignore me if I asked them to do something. I couldn't do my job because of that.

    "I went to management, I even emailed the CEO, but nothing was done, and in the end I was the one who had to leave, I just broke down."

    Timms said one female boss would question her about taking toilet breaks and made sarcastic remarks to the rest of the office whenever she did take a break.

    "The impact (of the bullying) has been just devastating. They take away all your happiness. I just want to be doing my job, bringing home some money and enjoying life, but instead my health is wrecked, I have a WorkCover claim on my record and I've lost my job."

    Tim Field believes the stereotypical view of men as aggressive and women as nurturing often prevents the female serial bully from being seen for what she is: "A sociopath in a skirt."
    It's a little-known fact that a woman can be as severe a bully in the workplace as a man, and according to experts, such behaviour among women is increasing.

    Melbourne psychologist Evelyn Field says women bully just as much as men do, "but because more bullies are managers and more managers are male, more bullying is done by men. But you certainly get a lot of bullying from women and sometimes they behave more aggressively than males."

    Field, author of Bullybusting, a self-help book for children faced with bullying, is also writing a book on workplace bullying. According to information she has gathered from interviews for her new book as well as her own observations (speaking to groups of women), women often feel pressured to adopt male behaviours in the workplace to get ahead.

    "Women will copy the patterns and behaviours of males, so that they become really quite aggressive," Field says.

    Prominent British anti-bullying campaigner Tim Field said that at least half of 3000 bullying reports made to the UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line involved a female serial bully (who had bullied several co-workers). No such figures exist on the gender of Australian workplace bullies, but local experts estimate Australian figures would reflect Britain's.

    In 2001-02, 1148 claims of workplace bullying were reported to the Victorian WorkCover Authority, compared with 1107 in the previous year.

    In her recently released book, Catfight, which explores female competitiveness, US author Leora Tanenbaum found that "working women are expected to be aggressive and masculine. Worried about being perceived as a mediocre or incompetent worker, many women go out of their way to prove they are not too emotional or passive, and can be more aggressive and demanding than any man."

    She points to groundbreaking research undertaken in the '70s, which she says is still relevant today. The researchers psychologists Graham Staines, Carol Tavrid and Toby Epstein Jayaratne coined the term "Queen Bee" to describe a token woman at a high level in a corporate environment.

    Based on questionnaire responses from 20,000 women, they found that "the Queen Bee who is successful in a male-dominated field identifies with the male colleagues who are her reference group, rather than with the diffuse concept of women as a class . . . (she) thereby disassociates herself from the fundamental issues of equality for women, while reassuring her male colleagues that she is not of that militant ilk."

    Tanenbaum also found that professional women were often hardest on their own sex.

    "Many professional women confess they prefer male rather than female supervisors. They complain that women at work refuse to share power, or withhold information, or are too concerned about receiving credit for every little thing they accomplish, or are cold toward underlings (male and female alike). In such complaints they use the word 'bitch' a lot," she says.

    Tim Field believes the stereotypical view of men as aggressive and women as nurturing often prevents the female serial bully from being seen for what she is: "A sociopath in a skirt."

    Research shows workplace bullying is also an expensive problem for Australia with the Workplace Bullying Project Team at Griffith University estimating it costs employers between $6 billion to $13 billion annually. This is based on a conservative estimate of 3.5 per cent of workers experiencing bullying.

    Evelyn Field says applying the more-accurate estimate of 15 per cent of workers being bullied increases the employer costs to between $17 to $36 billion. (A recent Worksafe survey found that one in seven Victorian workers were bullied in the past six months and almost a quarter knew a colleague who was being bullied.)

    It's all too familiar to Angela Timms who believes bullying is entrenched in our community, and through the Victims of Workplace Bullying support group which she attends, she has heard more stories of female bullying.

    "It seems to be everywhere, in places you wouldn't expect it, and time and again I hear of females doing the bullying."

    Evelyn Field said female bullies were often more subtle in their behaviour than their male counterparts. "Women are usually less physical, they would use techniques such as excluding others, over-supervising and controlling and verbal abuse."

    Ricky Nowak, a workplace communications training specialist and head of the company, Confident Communications, says women's bullying is "often quieter, behind closed doors, over the phone, via curt emails, or through giving their staff a sense of . . . (being overwhelmed), for example: asking women with families to stay behind when they don't really have to do so."

    Nowak runs leadership groups for professional women and says she has had many disclosures from women admitting they had bullied their colleagues.

    "It was behaviour such as intimidating others, standing over them, giving colleagues the silent treatment and so on."

    Evelyn Field describes bullying as a problem for everyone. "The micro level is the individual target who can be affected emotionally, physically, socially, career-wise, financially, family-wise over a long-term basis and many of them have severe health problems," she says.

    "The onlookers also get affected 20 per cent of onlookers will leave the job, others will have sick days and suffer poor morale. And the cost to industry is enormous bullying is everyone's problem."

    * Angela Timms is a pseudonym.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  2. #2
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    Exclamation FLAMMABLE WINDSHIELD WASHER FLUID

    Who'da thunk it, I know I didn't and just did a quick poll around the office, neither did anyone else....

    COULD THIS HAVE BEEN YOU?
    Makeshift ladder explodes
    An apprentice mechanic, working part-time with a transport company, was working when a drum of windshield washer anti-freeze exploded. The explosion was set off by a spark from his welding.

    The investigation into this death determined the mechanic was likely welding while standing on top of a drum containing methyl hydrate (concentrated windshield washer anti-freeze). The explosion threw him into the side of a nearby tractor-trailer. He died instantly of a skull fracture and extensive third degree burns.

    Further investigation showed the drum had been improperly labeled. It did not indicate methyl hydrate was flammable or explosive. In fact, the report showed the employees and managerial staff of the transport company did not know methyl hydrate was an explosive.

    Makeshift ladders are responsible for more injuries than just falls. In this case, the worker was standing on the drum of explosive material instead of a proper ladder or scaffold.

    If you have windshield washer fluid stored at work or at home, remember it is flammable and explosive. Handle it with care and caution.

    http://www.safetysmart.com/ezine/061504/cthby.html
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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