Bitchy Women in the Workplace

A look at why successful women are being bitchy in the workplace.

Woman to Women

The Bitch in the Office

Tired of dealing with bitchy women at work?

-Nataly Kogan

career womenAs I’ve witnessed in my own career and as too many studies have suggested, successful career women are often unfairly viewed as aggressive, overbearing and bitchy.

But recently I’ve come in contact with too many women who actually are bitchy to other women they work with. As I was dealing with one of them I started to wonder if there was something I was doing to cause her rudeness and bitchiness in communicating with me. I began to load my emails with all sorts of niceties and infused my phone conversations with her with an extra dose of politeness; her behavior didn’t change one bit. Then I met two other women who have dealt with her in the past and was relieved to learn that it was nothing personal toward me. How sad is that?

This certainly isn’t the first time this has happened. I spent the last 10 years of my career working in extremely male-dominated environments, and too many women I encountered there were just plain horrible. Bitchy, unwilling to network and be supportive, and extremely competitive. I had two older women, whom I’d met through networking, tell me quite plainly that they had a tough time getting to where they did and they weren’t about to make it easy for me by helping me. Nice, right?

I get that women from generations ahead of me had an extremely difficult time getting to positions of leadership and success. But it seems completely backward that their reaction would be to NOT make it easier for younger women to follow in their footsteps. They’ve already made it, so what do they have to lose by helping others? All the great mentors I’ve had in my career have been men, and I see older successful men network with, support and help younger men all the time.

In a great article she wrote for Work It, Mom!, Stacey Raidin, suggests a few reasons why women don’t support each other and network as well as men seem to. One of them stood out to me in particular: Because so few of us are in leadership positions, we operate from a position of scarcity – if I help another woman, she might eventually compete with me for my position. This makes sense, but it doesn’t make it right. If we don’t network better and support each other more we’ll be where we are today, with very few women leaders, 50 years from now.

Tell us: are you bitchy in the workplace, or deal with women who are?

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4 thoughts on “Bitchy Women in the Workplace

  1. Hi There, I’m new to this site and since I’m a blogger, I found you on Google.

    About Bitchy Women in the workplace…My GOD I had no idea that it could be so bad.
    I got two bitches for the price of one!

    Some time ago, I was the Executive Director of The Las Olas Association. I previously was a renowned director and regional director for various shopping malls throughout the US. I have dealt with every merchant type and every kind of dilemma imaginable…I have superb references with some major companies and merchant’s associations. Except one.

    At first this position seemed like it was the perfect fit for me….I
    have tons of retail and merchant experience.

    My supervisor was this incredibly, incredibly snippy and bitchy woman. She was the vp of the Association. I don’t think we had a single pleasant verbal exchange in the entire 90 days I was there…NOTHING I did was right…..I got admonished for some of the silliest things imaginable…

    In one instance I told someone “Sorry we dropped the ball on the barricades.” I was appeasing a neighborhood association who was lamenting about barricades at an event.
    And indeed someone had dropped the ball.

    My vp of asssociation supervisor treated my response as if I had called eveyone in South Florida a “Nappy headed ho!” She stormed out of the room and said I had made a grave error!

    It almost seemed surreal.,like she was immature or something. Like a high school kid who gets promoted too rapidly and starts behaving like Caligula. I discovered that her retail background consisted of owning a bridal shop for a couple of years…And now she was running the show.

    And then on top of it there was this DESIGN Agency who basically called ALL the shots for the Association, because they provided work pro bono….The agency was run by one English fellow, who I liked and respected. ( obviously he did not reciprocate this.)

    However, his partner was arguably the second biggest “B” I have ever exchanged emails with…and that’s the only way she communicates…No phone calls, no meetings…just bitchy emails….nothing was right with this woman either……NOTHING. One time I saw her openly “scoff” at me from a distance.

    At one time I used the word “doggone” in an email and she wrote me a two paragraph email chastizing me for using vernacular.

    I honestly thought I was dreaming. The day this position evaporated was simply a delight. And it ended, appropriately enough on Valentine’s Day.

    Today I run the marketing department for a major company and all of the hierarchy consists of men. Not one of them is bitchy and they like my work.


    The Merchant Maven

  2. I work in with several women who have never worked in a professional setting until their current job. Unfortunately they use it for social purposes & have formed some tight relationships with each other. The problem is if they don’t like you they make your work environment horrible to the point they purposely won’t help their “non-friends” & will try to see them fail. I was told by boss that because they are young (23-31), we have to cater to them since they need reassurance & are used to be catered to. One of the sour pusses frequently screams expletives & slams her door. She is such a drama queen that her little minions can’t do anything without her.
    These young girls are so rude that people call them “The Bitches” and can’t wait for them to get tier just dessert. How sad is that that their co-workers can’t wait to see them fired or bad things happen? At least with guys you can hash it out & get back to work. Not these nastys. Why are women, especially young ones, this way in general? GET OVER yourselves – you aren’t the best at your job!

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