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Survey Results

PeopleNRG Survey: Bitchy Bosses

Workplace perceptions revealed in new survey

The global team consulting firm PeopleNRG.com has released findings of a new survey it conducted on perceptions of "Bitchy Bosses" in the workplace.

According Lawrence Polsky, executive team coach and managing partner at PeopleNRG: "90% of the leaders I have coached over the past 20 years are women. I have found the reason they are called bitchy or some version of that, by their team or colleagues, comes down to one thing: the perception of being 'too' assertive. It can also be a way for employees to undermine a women leader they don't like or are jealous of."

Lawrence Polsky and Antoine Gerschel, co-managing partners at PeopleNRG, surveyed 221 professionals on their perceptions of "Bitchy Bosses." The results:

Extent of problem: Gender & Age Factors

72% said they have had a 'bitchy boss' in the past; 50% had more than one

Gender factor

76% women said they had one in the past

64% men said they had one in the past

Age factor

67% ages 21-35 said they had more than one (compared to 50% overall)

65% of people over 50 said they ever had a bitchy boss (compared to 72%)

"The younger you are, the more likely you have had one ie it is a newer problem with more women in leadership," Polsky says.

Impact: Age/Gender Factors

89% said it reduced team productivity

87% said they or someone on their team left their job because of it

86% said it affected their stress OUTSIDE of work

79% said it made them less motivated to do a good job

Age factor

93% aged 21-25 said it affected their stress OUTSIDE of work

81% aged 51+ said it affected their stress OUTSIDE of work

Gender factor

91% women said it affected their stress OUTSIDE of work vs. 76%

62% men said they were lied to by boss; only 52% women said they were lied to

79% men said boss was over-controlling; only 70% women said this boss was over-controlling 

Is it being addressed? By age/gendor & factors

43% spoke to their bitchy boss about the problem; only 18% of those said it helped improve the situation

36% told human resources about the problem; only 10% of those said HR did anything to help the situation

By age:

Those early in career are more likely to address the problem. Among respondents age 21-35, 40% spoke to the boss and 33% of those said it helped.

Those in mid career (age 36-50) were least likely to bring it up. Only 29% spoke to the boss.

Those later in career (age 51+) were more likely to bring it up, but less likely to help 61% spoke to the boss and only 15% said it helped.

By gender:

21% women vs.12% men said it helped.

Age factor:

27% of those age 21-35 talked to HR; 0% said anything was done to help

45% of those age 51+ talked to HR; 18% said anything was done to help

Gender factor:

29% men talked to HR

39% women talked to HR

Only 15% called in an outside consultant to help; 79% said that didn't help

21% men said outside help was called in, and only 13% women. "Men seem to be more a factor to call in a consultant by HR," Polsky said.

For more information, visit www.PeopleNRG.com

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