Time to tackle the sexual harassment in the professional environment

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How can we avoid losing the next big idea or entrepreneurial project if half of the population need to take time off from the Tech sphere, or another field, to overcome traumas provoked by sexual harassment?, or even think to avoid get in for the fear of being exposed to that kind of behaviour. Furthermore, this situation worked in the same way in another industry, however, the structure of investment in Start-ups environment brought the perfect scenario to make some male investors with enough control and power to tackle all the rules, as we see in the last high-profile case with Cheryl Yeoh, whom I was trying to search for an interview a few months ago, decided to tell her story to BBC, where she exposed the sexual harassment from Dave McClure.

For McClure the things run out of control during a meeting with her but the issue is not the exposure of his mistake, it is the highest number of women expressing their lack of satisfaction in their workplace for the regular sensation of having a normal experience when it is not the case at all. It is not normal that women could feel scared of assisting to professional meetings or going to your office to listen to uninvited comments about how good you look. Even worst, observing how men could watch you as an object.

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My interest on the topic appeared a long time before and I develop part of my research and expertise to discuss the topic during my studies as Master of Global Communication. I believe nobody should feel so entitled to abuse of his power, being competitive is addictive, that is a reality, the more you won in your career and life, the more you want to get for increasing your social, economic or personal capital, as well as, your power, and even your sense of self. However, when the line of seeing another human just as a possession, the value of your company couldn’t lose more power in the eyes of your consumers, business partners, sponsors, as well as, your family. Calling yourself a Creep doesn’t change the wrong thing you did, especially, when you even will have a cool song to play along while you leave your job thinking how to start the next big thing or go to your next job.

The truth is the situation cause women among other minorities won’t enjoy their time as workers in any company, and when you don’t enjoy you stop being creative and exploiting your ideas because you as other employees started to use their thoughts to search for a different employment or work. It is not only about diminishing productivity but also, affected negatively the pursuit of innovation from a different perspective, which implied losing money, the creation of new products or better process in the long-term.

And I know somebody would express “But that is not how the world works”, but if we don’t try to change the things, how will we find what new surprises are ahead? During my research, I found the common idea of men as “Alpha”, and that characteristic is not negative per se, the problem is when men stop seeing the consequences and their responsibilities inside any company, as well as, the considered values in a determined group or corporation. Innovation couldn’t ignore the value of another sex because half of the population in our world is composed of women.

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I will explore three crucial points of what different organisations could do to tackle this kind of behaviour:

First: Awareness

What made Cheryl Yeoh avoid talking about this? There is not necessary to search for an equation to explain it. It is simple, any women involved in this case of situation would feel confused, surprised and insulted because the truth is if you love your work, you are there for the job, to reach professional and personal fulfillment and to get more money, as well as, your male counterparts. The problem is men don’t always believe a woman could be so professional or goal oriented. How many times I listen to comments from others expressing “Ah Allison, she is only in the job until she got married”, which is only an example of how women could work without having a real respect towards their work because, read carefully, every woman also wants to use their skills in the professional field.

This scenario caused the negative perception of the female in any industry. Men used to believe woman are not so interested in them in their professional journey. It is ok, some women couldn’t be so interested but it doesn’t apply the same rule for 100% of woman in any industry. So it is common you prefer to keep silence for avoiding compromise your career with a scandal or ending being ignored by the CEO over the situation.

Step 1

Any small or big company should establish rules about physical contact and verbal expressions, especially, warning about Sexual Harassment. It shouldn’t be a topic only for female workers. It is necessary to offer more possibilities to both sexes to understand the company’s position towards this scenario, as well as, the consequences. Perhaps, it is not fair a woman should work in an environment, where her body is considered as a property of the business.

 

Second: Avoid ignoring the case

The common scenario is finding professionals, in the Public and the Private Sphere, who ignored or diminished the value of a woman expressing this kind of behaviour. Usually, the women are harassed twice, three or four times, or even completely ignored by the CEO because he got a strong relationship with the men, who executed the bad behaviour or the headmaster tried to understand the male position in the scenario. Giving the female with only one alternative, leaving the job because that kind of experience is annoying and nobody could enjoy or produce anything positive in an environment charged with sexual aggressiveness. The worst example is when a female professional in charge is interested in pursuing this kind of actions, which could sound unbelievable but it is a reality.

Undoubtedly, there is not possible to talk about innovation in our world if the workplace, where we have to achieve professional goals, producing creative ideas, is still ruled under the reproductive rules of the cavern times era when we must discuss of sexually predatory behaviour as the common, and permitted, attitude in the workplace.

Step 2

It is relevant that managers shared a discussion about this topic. Particularly, when it is not a new topic. For what we have been seeing in media in the last weeks the situation is not only affecting woman in less developed economies but it is an intrinsic reality to live surrounded by Creeps, which only means we need to stop the lack of security for woman in small business, big corporations, tech industry, hospitality, retail or start-up environment.

Third: Establishing a better mechanism of control

If you want to know more about how to establish an effective mechanism of control, you only need to send an email to rossana.naveda@gmail.com. Also, you can call us: 61 0424669540

We will talk about how our business could improve your measures to handle this kind of situation.

Spanish version

 

 

French version 

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