Sexual harassment in the workplace is a sensitive and important topic.
It is often not discussed openly, due to the stigma,
long history of tolerance (“just look the other way”);
confusion about what it is versus is not;
What the person who is experiencing it should do about it.
No one can ignore the fact that today’s work world requires heightened awareness and sensitivity on many levels – workplace harassment being among the most sensitive and controversial.
(Many times, these people have felt uncertain IF it has happened to them, and whether they have recourse or power.)
Sexual harassment is defined by the EEOC as:
“Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”
Increased experiences of sexual harassment at work (mostly aimed at women, but some aimed at men as well) are a reflection of societal shifting values (read: Andrew Cuomo’s comment in his resignation speech “I underestimated how far the line had moved”).
It is also a reflection of greater attention (and link to productivity) of the importance of worker well-being.
I’m Lisa Jackson, and I have coached leaders for 22 years on “both sides” of this difficult territory.
I’ve often told victims this: “YOU have the right to do your job without interference or discomfort from social dynamics that don’t belong in the board room, the lunch room, or even the after-work happy hour.”
I made this video for the person EXPERIENCING unwelcome advances or actions – any real-life situation that has left them feeling confused, uncomfortable, and in some cases – unsure whether they can continue in their job.
In it, I share 9 actions one can take to empower themselves – important actions that support your well-being as a victim of harassment in the workplace.
(It is explicitly NOT intended to reflect the HR or EEOC point of view, but rather my opinion and advice based on over 3 decades of coaching employees and leaders through my culture change work.
This is not exclusively defined as men harassing women; rather conduct from one to another in the workplace where “the harasser’s conduct is unwelcome.”
Bottom line: No one should be able to strip away someone’s personal power to perform work they love and are good at, without being impeded or belittled or made to believe their job is at risk.
Listen and share with anyone who you think can benefit from this perspective and wisdom.
Listen as I share my experience and views on the cultural environment that supports sexual harassment …
And nine specific actions to take if you are experiencing this; yet, may not feel ready to “blow the whistle.”
Please share this video with anyone you believe would benefit from its perspective.
My heart to yours,