Just imagine if it was your daughter, sister, mother, aunt or girlfriend.
Over the past six months, sexual harassment and assault allegations have surfaced from Hollywood to Capitol Hill. Corporate executives are being released from their high positions. Well paid actors and influencers are losing lucrative television contracts. Once respected politicians have to step down from elite committees.
It seems as though when former media executive Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment, it led to a domino effect. Left and right women were revealing the barbaric behaviors that happen in the workplace.
Even though it is not a recent phenomenon, women should not worry about whether or not they are going to get harassed, assaulted, or abused at work.
It is the time to hold men accountable for their actions, so we listed five methods men can use to prevent sexual harassment and assault:
Give Women Leading Positions (Do Not Victimize)
Men should regard women as equals in the workplace, not necessitous individuals. We are in the 21st century, women have the ability to hold leadership driven jobs such as government officials, directors, executives, managers, etc. When women are in leading roles they tend to not get harassed because they have authority to hire or fire people.
The position of power changes the dynamic in the workplace and the relationship between coworkers and upper management. Once women are promoted to those high positions they should not be referred to as bossy, prissy, or confrontational. Men have to support and empower women because they are the backbone of our society.
Do Not Blame Her For Being A Woman
Women should never feel guilty about their appearance in the workplace. It is not the woman’s fault if she decides to wear makeup or clothes that display her beauty, and then her male counterparts decide to abuse his power by crossing boundaries and invading her space.
Men do not the have the right to make sexual advances towards women in an office setting due to their attractiveness and physical attributes. There is a popular saying that has been around for decades, and it goes something like this: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
Listen As Much As You Speak
Sometimes listening can go a long way. Women should be in the safe environment while working where they have the ability to express themselves. If she needs to release some built up emotions, let her initiate the conversation. On other the hand, we all know people develop personal relationships in the workplace, but men should always respect a woman’s limitation.
For example, when a woman feels uncomfortable, men need should read the room and take a step back. With that being said, men should not press their female coworker to participate in activities that are unpleasant and unprofessional. Take the time to get know your female coworkers before making assumptions or judging them. Ask the right questions and if she wants to keep the working relationship strictly platonic, you have to respect it.
Note Suspicious Behavior
Before accusing anyone of suspicious behavior, you need evidence. It is important to get in the habit of writing everything down, especially as a professional. Effectively, take note of activities that are not conducive to the workplace. Keep an organized folder either digitally or hard copies of your records. So when the time comes, the notes will be prepared for future action.
Notify Your Supervisor Or The Authorities
If all else fails and a sexual incident occurs, please notify upper management or law enforcement. Do not accuse the perpetrator until you have clear evidence or witnessed the crime. Once it gets out of control, please let the professionals in that situation handle it with care. At the end of the day, professional women need to be respected at all times and protected from the ones who cause harm.