Workplace bullying experienced by one in three young women

One in three young women are the victims of workplace bullying, alarming new figures have revealed

A poll of 685 young women found that 33% had been bullied in the past six months, and the most common culprit was an older woman in a more senior professional position.

Excessive work monitoring and criticism, isolation/exclusion/intimidation, unrealistic targets and public humiliation and insulting jokes were among the most common bullying behaviours experienced by those victimised.

The study, carried out by union Unison and Company magazine, showed the majority of bullied women suffered from anger, mental stress, depression, low confidence and insomnia.

More than half believe that bullying has become an acceptable part of workplace culture and more than half said their organisation does not address the bullying problem .

In addition, 40% think that bullies are tolerated in the credit crunch environment.

David Prentis, Unison’s general secretary, said: “This shocking survey shows that bullying and harassment of young women in the workplace is spiralling out of control.

“Our research has shown that bullying is accepted in many organisations – we need to change this attitude now. The recession has surely added to this problem, and the cost to employers, to cover absence and replace trained staff, makes it clear that tackling bullying make economic sense.”

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