I'm going to let you in on an open secret: Women aren't very nice to each other in the workplace. What you may not know is why.

I happen to be a woman, have been all my life. My chosen career path and aptitude lies in technology, and that further led to a successful career in management.

Along the way, I've heard plenty of people congratulating me for being one of the fewer than 5 percent of women in the C-Suite, less than 2 percent on boards, 4 percent funded, and so on. I've beaten so many of the odds that I could rattle them off in my sleep.

The one question I get asked repeatedly is, "What advice can you give to other women who want to be in your shoes?"  My answer: stop being so mean to each other.

Madelaine Albright said, "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." I understand the sentiment. 

30 percent of all workplace bullies are women, and 75 percent of all targets of workplace bullying are women. And according to a Monster.com workplace survey, 76 percent of people report having had a toxic manager. I, myself, have been the target of bullying from women in my own companies, from frivolous HR complaints to personal attacks.

Albright's statement isn't a call for women to magically reach up into the C-Suites of companies and grant positions to each other. Instead, it's a plea to treat each other better. We are all struggling through the same slog, usually alone or as near to it as can be. When another woman comes along, she can either help, and the two can grow together, or hurt, and step on the other to make herself look better.

Sabrina Atienza CEO of Valued has seen this first-hand. "No one wants to admit that they're being bullied at work. This is not something you would be proud to say."

Her software company uses natural language processing -- a process that allows a computer to quickly perform computations on large blocks of text -- to identify workplace harassment phrases and behaviors, then offers just-in-time feedback on how to deal with the situation.  Additionally, it offers surveys and role-playing for managers to help them identify and correct their own bullying behavior.

Says Atienza, "Statistically, you're going to bully someone below you - and your subordinates won't give you the feedback to get better."

So how can we fix it? Here are her tips:

1. Provide management coaching.

According to Atienza, most companies promote managers and offer them little training on how to lead. This causes them to act like they think they should act, however, their behaviors are often strict, authoritarian and disrespectful.

Instead, give management training prior to promotion, and provide coaching once on the job.

2. Provide anonymous feedback.

As bullying requires a power differential, it is usually from a manager to a subordinate. Therefore, it often goes unreported.

You should provide a mechanism to provide anonymous feedback - even in a small company - so that every person can get the information they need to improve.

This can be done with a simple suggestion box, but to maintain true anonymity, third-party tools such as Incogneato and Hyphen can help collect this information.

3. Set "ground rules."

In a lot of companies, employees come from different backgrounds - often different countries. This gives them different methods of communication, phrases, and even languages.

If you create a set of rules that you'll all agree to work with, it will do much to alleviate potential communication issues. These can be as simple as to not use acronyms and slang in meetings, to more nuanced rules like "Comments in email/slack/etc should be considered to be informational, not emotional." 

While I certainly don't have the answers to solve workplace disparity, what I can say is this - if we simply recognize that there indeed is an issue, we're better off than before.

And, maybe we can be a little kinder to each other. It's hard out there.