Tag Archives: mobbing

Single women, the focus of mobbing

donnamobbingForced to take the annual leave during the most uncomfortable periods and often harassed psychologically and/or sexually: in many countries, the fact of being “single” often becomes a double edged sword for women who, paradoxically, have invested their energies to secure the maximum independence and to give space to them career.

We often talk about mobbing against women and, in particular, workers who are also mothers; this is certainly the most violent, insidious and painful form to implement this physical and psychological abuse in the workplace.

But there is also another type of bullying, less flashy, perhaps even less known and encoded, son of social evolution, developed in the last 10-15 years and not yet well known: the mobbing against single women.

Workers who don’t have children, and in many cases not even a partner, and then are forced to endure a work overload from colleagues and superiors that is sometimes underestimated if not completely ignored. This is a phenomenon that occurs very often in private workplaces. Single women undergo further sexual mobbing or harassment implemented by someone, aimed to damage the image and career of the person concerned. Many young women have found themselves faced with winks and sexual jokes or attempts of seduction and invitations, at least once in their life.

It ‘s the story of Carla, 43 years old, fired after not having succumbed to the advances of the department head, but she took courage and has gathered with a microphone in a keychain all the sad jokes and then she has started a legal action and has recovered fully her work. But also the story of Mina, 37, forced to exaggerated hours of work and treated in a discriminatory manner; she has gathered evidence with a bug and has brought them to the Court.

These women suffer a form of discrimination that leads them to give up, at the beginning perhaps deliberately, following in order not to lose the professional positions acquired, at a private life, both with a partner and with children. We must stop this phenomenon to be its damages in respect of other women in the same situation. It’s important to always denounce, gathering evidence that incriminate the perpetrators through professional tools that allow clear recordings without arousing suspicion.

Sexual proposals during the job interview

palpeggiamentilavoroWhen she came back home, she broke down in an uninterrupted crying. Than, she told what had happened just before: during a job interview for secretary, the owner had put their hands on her, touching her and making explicit sexual proposals in exchange of the work. The mother of the girl, 20 years old, took the phone and called the police immediately.

While the girl went to the hospital for verifications, the agents of the police reached the company, a small transport company, in which would take place harassments. Once in place, the police were approached by another girl,  20 years old too: she would have suffered repeated sexual proposals by the entrepreneur (60 years old with a criminal records) during the apprenticeship that she had carried out; the same job that the other girl had reading in a job centre.

Both girls were invited to the police station. The harassment suffered by man were practically of the same nature. The police wanted to clarify the matter and, without wasting any more time, have equipped the girl who worked here of a watch with a built-in micro camera and they were placed near the company. The girl, remained in the company only for a few minutes, recorded some very explicit conversations, providing evidence.

Now the police is examining the evidence collected. The entrepreneur is currently under investigation for the crime of sexual assault. Unfortunately, as it often happens, the investigators need evidence to proceed quickly with the judicial practice. In the private it would be appropriate to go always to “blind dates”, both professional and personal, equipped with self defense devices, so as to put an end to the flood of abuses that happen every day and continually reap new victims.

The woman boss creates frustrations

 Who doesn’t remember the perfidious Miranda of the movie “The Devil Wears Prada”? Wicked, rich, unscrupulous. This seems to be the perfect picture of career women torn between career and family, and increasingly alone.

donnacapoHave a female responsible still carries disturbs. For men seems to be downright frustrating receive orders from a woman. The confirmation came from a recent Canadian study: the sex of the boss affects the lives of employees at work and beyond. According to the research of the Toronto University, the sex of the persons who manage the work has consequences for the physical and mental health of employees.

For each employee were examined psychological stress, physical symptoms, type of employment and a range of working conditions, such as the level of satisfaction behind the desk, the relationship with the authorities, pressures received and the quality of interpersonal relationships. The workers were subsequently divided into groups, managed by two different supervisor: one of the same sex and one of different sex. The result is that employees are worse with female boss. And not only in the office, they may sometimes suffer the consequences with regard to the mental and physical health.

Much better instead if to give orders was a man, or at most a pair of male and female managers. By examining the characteristics showed, the ideal leader would have a mix of feminine and masculine qualities. The fact is that in leading roles, political, corporate or public, women are still very few.

Beyond what may be the implications of the different cultures at working, we report the story of “Sabrina” (fancy name) who had to submit to her responsable for about nine months for lack of evidence. The unfortunate worked in a large U.S. telephony enterprise for about three years when the company was absorbed by foreign entrepreneurs. The first impact with the new business decisions was rather good: more rigorous, valid contractual frameworks, air of novelty. The problems began after a very short time: Sabrina, from 18 months in charge of marketing, was replaced by a newcomer without many explanations. She was moved into telemarketing area without special responsibilities. The demotion was followed by a long series of criticisms and pressure on her performance that resulted in loud discussions with the departement head. Everyday scenes but couldn’t find legal basis for lack of evidence. So the girl took courage and recorded with a powerful voice recorder the continuing harassment; after that she leds the recordings to her lawyer. Now Sabrina has a new job, but the company where she worked had to pay to her moral damages.

When mobbing and stalking are dangerously intertwined, the story of “Anne”

mobbing3_grIt isn’t enough identify and punish crimes, it’s also important try to prevent them. Numerous crimes happen in the workplace and becoming, most of the times, mobbing. It isn’t often able to distinguish stalking from mobbing. When you fear for your safety you are in front of the stalking, that born from a serious psychopathological disorder, non-acceptance: a rejection of others’ success…In the case of mobbing, however, this practice can lead to persecutor behaviors to remove someone from the workplace, these actions are dictated by reasons of interpersonal and organizational character and in this case, the victim may suffer from post-traumatic disorders and depression, but not in fear of his life.

Surely fears for her life, Anne, fancy name for anonymity, forty year old, that in just a few months was forced to leave the job as a victim of persecution acts by her colleague, with whom she had made a sevices company. Divorced and mother of two teenage children, Anne talks about her bad story from when the work went well when she suffered a demotion and an abrupt reduction in salary, which has deeply influenced her life, bringing her to ask money borrow to the family and friends to support her children and pay the mortgage of 600 Euros per month.

She speaks about how she was forced to do things that were outside from her tasks, and how, after her refusal to undergo these abuses, she has found closed the office with the door lock changed. She was almost fired. Readmitted to the work by the judge, she was then sent to do manual labor, which are outside of her functions, until the day in which the police had to intervene to put down a dispute in which Anna is over to the hospital with a prognosis of 15 days, attacked by her colleagues. Then came the illness, depression, until to a total loss of work, and, although the court has imposed on the counterparty to pay her wages, she never received any money, starting a series of endless legal actions. “Justice – she says – doesn’t follow the timing of the payment of bills, although it gives me reason”.

This is just one of many cases that happen every day, and as you can see, not only about the relationship between men and women, but also among people of the same gender, which often run into this problem for jealousies and enviesIn many cases, employees have proved shrewdness filming with microcameras the episodes of mobbing.

These pictures are often the key to resolving their unfortunate situation. In fact, in other cases, in the absence of evidences, the court has not been able to give a favorable opinion to the complaints of the case.

Pens, watches, buttons, ties can hide small cameras in order to record harassment and threats and solve cases that may, in the long run, cause stress, insomnia and mental disorders that shouldn’t be underestimated.

The precarious journalist complaints with a blog “sexual mobbing”

Olga, fancy name of a young precarious journalist like many others who have decided groped luck to moving, looking for a permanent job. But what she found has been a director, who molests her. The “pig” as she calls him. Unable to denounce and to take legal actions for fear of not being believed, she decided to write her sad story in a blog, “The Pig at Work”.

A story of our times, started on 24 July when Olga moved where a director had offered a real job, complete with a contract. In a short time, the boss turned out to be a “pig”, one that in exchange for decent work calls for companionship and attentions, body and soul. Already at the end of July the young journalist has launched its blog. Posts that follow one after the other and have the same taste: compromises, abuses, silences.

Olga’s story is, in some respects, the story of several precarious that to chase the dream of a permanent job, yield to avances and submissions. All in exchange for a decent future. A continuous hope that things will get better and it gets the opportunity deserved. The journalist called it “sexual mobbing”, hard to prove and able to subtract the first dignity, and then identity.

In similar cases have often been used bugs and microrecorders that allowed to reconstruct of the events and to witness threats and proposals of “exchanges”. Dinner invitations, congratulations, psychological violence and implied blackmail are clear signs of a relationship that seeks to go beyond the scope of work and who are often read as “normal care”.

There is always to ask if the person on the other side is happy to receive compliments and pressing attentions of various kinds. Moreover, what takes root in young people is increasing awareness of the lack of meritocracy. Know how to write, having studied, have achieved brilliant goals, know languages…it’s not enough to be a journalist, in the case of Olga, as in many others. Lacks the “special” relationships. Also being a woman still makes the difference even in a regime of equal opportunities, indeed, paradoxically, women may have a double opportunity. In the end more than the pain of violence, often well hidden, it hurts the inability to defend themselves.

Mobbing: recognize it and defend yourself

Although we speak still little, the mobbing is an increasingly widespread phenomenon. Generally the term “mobbing” refears to the hostility of a single or a group against a person within the work environment. The term takes its cue from the animal world to describe a particular behavior of some species that surround and attack another animal to move it away from the herd.

The phenomenon can be of different types and it can have different characteristics:

  • horizontal, if it occurs between peers, that is, people that working in the same position;
  • vertical, when there is a superior against an employee or vice versa;
  • collective, when it’s considered a real business strategy that aims to reduce or rationalize the workforce and it is not addressed to individuals but to groups of people;
  • double mobbing, when the situation of the victim affects also his family and the people around him. His problems over time may lead to further isolation of the individual;
  • external, the victim is the employer who is under pressure carried in the form of threats, both by trade unions that employees.

It’s not always easy to define a mobbing situation because it often begins with simple “anomalies” relational-dynamic between the victim and the superior or the colleagues. These minor niggles soon turn into criticism and reproaches. The mobbing behavior becomes manifest over time by pressing and repeated attacks to the victim in order to discredit his the reputation, isolate him from work environment and, through constant criticism and reproaches, psychologically demotivate him. Only at this point, the victim may come to report the vexations. At the top of mobbing actions there is the expulsion of the individual that often leads to a complete isolation and depression risk. Alternatively, the worker, exhausted, unable to find a solution to the problem, chooses the path of voluntary resignation.

Frequently it’s difficult to prove these acts of intimidation. More and more often are used bugs like the spy button, the microcamera hides in the belt buckle or the glasses with a built-in microcamera.

The cases of bullying are constantly increasing: in Europe this phenomenon is taking on social dimensions of great importance. In Italy, about 6% of the active population is victim of mobbing with negative consequences that fall not only on the individual, but also on his family and on the companies for which these phenomena imply an increase of the costs borne by the community in the form of increases in health care costs and benefit systems. In some European countries such as Sweden, Norway and Germany, the phenomenon has long been regulated. In any case, defense, you can.