You Can’t Sit with Us: Exploring the Impact of Mean Girls and Bullying in Higher Education

June 12, 2023 | 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm Eastern


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Deter bullying and break down the barriers that limit the growth of women leaders.


In 2017, The Workplace Bullying Institute found that women experience the majority of abusive conduct at work. We are sadly all too familiar with the stereotypical sexist discrimination and harassment perpetuated within higher education, but what does it mean when it looks slightly different—when women experience gendered bullying and harassment by other women?

In their 2020 work, Navigating the Gendered Labyrinths and Managing the Mean Girls and Queen Bees within the Academy, Locke and Hayes found that women in higher education experience a number of challenges when working with other women, including but not limited to: gaslighting, emotional abuse, withheld support or mentoring, and microaggressions. In this training, our experts will take this research a step further and lead a discussion on the importance of considering intersectional identities in the experience of bullying. Through research, case studies, and the lived experiences of the presenters, attendees will have the opportunity to explore this topic and identify the types of behaviors that could limit or prevent the growth of women who lead in higher education.


Who Should Attend

Anyone interested in exploring the gendered dynamics of bullying in the workplace will benefit from this training.

Recording available 10 business days after the live training.

The Academic Impressions Online Learning Experience

Intentionally Designed
Online Learning

Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions


June 12, 2023

12:00 - 1:30 p.m. ET


I. Defining Bullying and “Mean Girl” Behavior, and Its Impact on Women in Higher Education

Although addressing this topic could spark concern from those who believe that women should always support other women, the reality is that silence around this issue only enables those who have made a decidedly different choice. A review of relevant articles will help attendees to identify, unmask, and name a growing and unfortunate trend that cannot be resolved through “good vibes only.”



II. Context: Adding the Lens of Intersectional Identities to the Discussion

While the presenters both identify as Cis/Het women, they believe that their intersectional differences can explain the different ways in which they have experienced bullying in the workplace. Rather than shy away from this reality, the presenters will speak candidly about how they believe race, age, gender, and other identifiable characteristics added texture to their encounters in their respective environments.



III. Case Studies

Unique, but realistic, case studies will be utilized to help attendees consider situations that are often dealt with quietly. Shining a light on these situations will help to remove the normalcy with which we can sometimes classify inappropriate behavior as politics, cattiness, or other terms that don’t actually signal a need for accountability.   



IV. Questions, Answers, & Discussion

The session will conclude by offering attendees the opportunity to ask questions and receive advice or support with managing their own experiences.


Professional portrait of Sandra Miles

Sandra Miles, PhD

Head of Practice for Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, Academic Impressions

Sandra has spent most of the last two decades serving as a leader and administrator in higher education. Specifically, she has had extensive experience in managing crisis, strategic planning, developing leadership programs, working with persons with disabilities, mediating disputes, and serving as a Dean of Students, Chief Student Affairs Officer, Chief Diversity Officer, and Deputy Title IX Coordinator. In 2022, Sandra joined Academic Impressions full-time as the Head of Practice for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, due to her experience with the organization as a subject-matter expert who facilitated trainings and workshops in higher-ed, as well as to her passion for making DEI concepts resonate for individuals from all walks of life.

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Portrait of Jen Murphy

Jen Murphy, Ed.D.

Executive Director of the Undergraduate Division, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

In her current role, Jen’s work is primarily focused on building and implementing student success initiatives to radically impact the student experience. With enthusiasm and an entrepreneurial mindset, she is a driven leader, motivated to find creative and innovative solutions, all while building and developing people and teams. Jen brings more than 18 years of higher education experience at various institutions and business schools: Indiana University, Arizona State, American University, and Ohio University. Jen is a global speaker, published author, and researcher of women leaders in higher education.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.


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