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When the Boss is a Bully — and a Woman

Editorial Team

When dealing with a workplace bully who is female, document, says Bret L. Simmons, a University of Nevada management professor. Confront the bully about her behavior as soon as it happens — don’t wait — and “stay focused on the purpose.” Have you been bullied at work by another woman? What has worked for you?


  1. Rita Dennaoui

    Yes, I have been bullied by a woman. You document and you confront and look the individual in their eyes. They will lie, change their story, and look for other people to become their friends. They will seek weak personality to become their friends, so that they are able to keep control and bully others. I have never had a boss who is a bully this year I did, and I never understood how the company kept her on for 20 years. It seems that managers who have a bully style management seems to be more apparent especially in times where unemployment is high and individuals need to work. To all the people out there do not take it and document and stand up to these types of people.

  2. Annouimus

    I got bullied by a manger. I was lie to about a meeting. I documented it. I told my cpomplants to my General Manager. She was telling me to….

  3. Anonymous

    Yes, I have a bully for a manager. I went to HR. This woman is a HUGE micro-manager and blatantly treats men as superior to women, seeking them out and listening to their ideas and suggestions, while refuting and even chastising women’s suggestions. I beleive that she feels she needs to act this way to compete, but it only makes her look like she is insecure.

  4. tracey2001

    My female manager is a horrible bully. She is Asian, and any attempt to have her tone down her incessant yelling is met with excuses that this is part of her “culture”! I would think that to be offensive to any other Asian female professional.

  5. Cathyvv

    Bully Boss Syndrome is alive and well in companies everywhere. I was unlucky enough to have one who happened to be female and a drunk. Every day was torture, the things she did and said to the people who worked for her were so divisive it made me crazy. It wasn’t personal; she hated everyone! After a year of her harrassment, I realized I couldn’t stay in that job as it was twisting my thinking, changing me into someone I didn’t want to be. So, even though I was a single mom with 2 young kids, I quit. It was quit or go insane!
    That was a scary time for me but it taught me some thing: When you realize you are in an abusive work situation, immedicately start a job search and get the heck out of there! My boss’s bosses knew about this womans bad behavior, but whe was a long term employee who had built ‘relationships’ in the company over a number of years. I thought they didn’t believe me and they didn’t understand how bad it was in her department. 2 years after I left, I learned that she was fired 2 years later, but only after they put another long term employee with a good reputation within the company, into my previous position.

  6. sally y

    I have a female boss..2 actually. The lying and nasty attitude started my 2nd week on the job. 1st it started out with little things, like her claiming she did not get an email I sent giving her the answer to a question, to the most recent (I have been there 3 months now)to blame me for a shipping error and telling me I cost the store $1700 and that my I can not go on costing the store money and expect to keep my job.
    I said I relize this, but, I can not for sure say I did or did not do shipping that day ( shiiping and receiving is part of my job) She signed off on the transfer without looking at it. Today a month and a half later I find out It was NOT me, but the store Admin that did the shipping and messed up, Yet I received NO apology from my boss nor any communication from her that she found out who did the shipping that day.
    She forgets to do things or tell me about things that need to be done and then asks Why isnt this done? I TOLD YOU ABOUT IT! reviews was also one of the last things on the list, she said she printed them and put them in my box..last ones I had were for my female employees and this set had male employees when I told her I did not get them, she basically called my a liar saying she printed them and that she will reprint them and they better be done by weeks end. It was reviews for goodness sake, why would I risk my good name and lie about something so simple.
    I am looking for a new job, I thought working for women would be better, but, micro managing, pms’ing, and lying to get their point across and down right corrective and verbal abuse in front of customers is not good business sense in my book.
    Not long for this Dock Mgr job.

  7. Bully bosses are usually intimidated by you and don’t like to see you happy or succeed. Go to HR and fight. Then decide if your health and happiness would be better somewhere else. Karma will get the female bully boss and you will probably see her again in the field and have a better job than her!

  8. Danielle Mumford

    I’ve had some truly psycho female bosses. To blame this on men or the so-called patriarchy is a convenient but false statement. We all meet women like this all the time, shopping car parking lot, neighbour etc…but this time it is your manager.

    The fact is that there are women everywhere with a bad attitude. They are bitchy, manipulative and have no honour. They are happy to lie to the point of self deceit.

    There is rarely any humour with these types. They are too crude intellectually to understand it.

    In all these situations I have happily pointed out their psychotic behaviour to them then left the business. Don’t be afraid to get up and walk.

    I suggest go working for a man instead.

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