As a professional woman who has been successful for many years in my career, I am getting really tired of all the soap box commentary about how badly women are treated in business. Sexual harassment, not making enough money, not getting promoted fast enough and in short – just not being treated as an equal to men.
I have been working in a ‘mans’ world my whole life and have never felt like I wasn’t respected, not paid enough or that I was passed over for a promotion. Did some of my male bosses or co-workers make sexist comments toward me? Yes! Did I quit over it? NO!
I am sure that some of you reading this are disgusted with me right now. Well don’t be. This is my soap box so let me stand on it. I can give you a list of women I know who have ‘slept their way to the top,’ and used their female antics to get what they wanted, when they wanted it. Some of these same women turned the table on their male counterparts when things didn’t go their way. Running to HR to complain and throw their male bosses under the bus became the norm when things didn’t work out. Well let’s stop this madness.
Sure, if you really are being harassed in any way, call the person out and stop saying that going to HR won’t do any good. In all the recent articles and top news stories about women being harassed on the job, most women said “they didn’t complain to human resources because they feared they would be fired.” The meta-analysis found that some women who experience harassment confront the perpetrator or confide in friends or family. But the most common response is to avoid the person, play down what happened or ignore the behavior. WHY?
If you are doing a good job, are valuable and are comfortable with your results than either quit or let them know you will not tolerate this behavior anymore!
The New York Times has spent a great deal of time on this subject – “The best way to avoid sexual harassment and ensure that it’s reported when it happens is to bake it into company culture, from the top leaders on down, executives and researchers say."
“When you have an effective H.R. department that is supported by leadership, people feel safe about reporting harassment,” said Bettina Deynes, vice president for H.R. at the Society for Human Resource Management, a professional association. “It has a lot to do with the type of H.R. department: The motive is not the legal liability, but the culture you want.”
“Culture is a squishy concept, but companies can do concrete things. One counterintuitive idea is to reward managers when complaints of harassment increase in their department, because it means they’re creating an environment where people are comfortable reporting it.”
Stop being a victim and start holding yourself and everyone around you accountable for results. If you are harassed (both men and women), report it, stand by it and don’t use it as a crutch. This is your life so take responsibility for your destiny.