Women In the Workplace and Sexual Harassment
Here’s the viewpoint from 2 women: One who’s been in the workforce for 33 years and one that’s been in it for 3 years. This article is meant to educate and be helpful.
By Kristin Tomlinson and Janette Speyer
With the Economy in a slump, more and more women are entering the workforce at a record rate. We don’t want to get too “motherly”, but with these increased numbers it’s important to remember your office manners and etiquette . . . We’re talking to you boys! Playful, witty comments that are meant to be funny may sometimes come off as tacky and distasteful. You can avoid the “eye roll” from women by becoming educated on what is considered “inappropriate behavior”, in addition to better alternatives on what to say.
100% of Women Reported the Harasser at Work Was a Man
Oh, Men. You can’t live with ‘em and you can’t live without ‘em. Guys, we love and welcome your compliments, but there are ways to still be a “guy” and not come off as threatening towards your fellow women colleagues. Don’t being branded a “Jerk” or “Pig” by avoiding these acts:
Comment 1: “You Look HOTT Today”: This is inappropriate and can make any women cringe. The word “HOTT” should be left at the Frat House and is not proper rhetoric for a professional, businessman. And ladies, why even put yourselves in this line of fire. Try not to wear sexy, revealing clothing that you would wear out with your girlfriends. Don’t give any male co-worker the satisfaction or ammo.
Appropriate Alternative: Gentleman, instead say “You look very nice today”. This phrase is simple, professional and a great compliment.
Comment 2: “There’s an Important Client Coming in Today, Try To Show Some Skin”: Making a women feel that she’s only good for her body and nothing else is degrading and sexist. Everyone has the right to be recognized for their intelligence, competence and resourcefulness. How would you react if someone asked you to “Tuck your Beer Belly in” for impression purposes? Ouch. As the old saying goes “Don’t Do To Others What You Don’t Want Done To You”.
Appropriate Alternative: Gentleman, try substituting “There’s an important client coming in today, make sure to be friendly, professional and proactive”. This statement is professional, office friendly and will gain respect from your female counterparts.
Comment 3: The “Guy Team” Checkout: Words are not only hurtful, but also actions! Whistling, winking, looking, staring and making uncomfortable gestures while in a group of men toward a female co-worker are ALL inappropriate (and not to mention rude and gross).
Appropriate Alternative: Keep any sexual innuendo to yourself! If there’s even the slightest possibility that the action could be taken the wrong way, keep it to private. Guys, shoot the woman a friendly smile and ask her how her day is going. The girl will see you as nice, charming and caring.
Sexual Harassment Is ILLEGAL in all 50 States.
There are ways you can still be a “guy” and at the same time make everyone feel part of the team. Remember, make compliments from the head up. Women love compliments, so give them plenty… appropriate ones that is!
We’d like to hear from our readers. Please share your comments or experiences below on ways men can still be “men” in the office without overstepping any boundaries.
About the Author: Kristin Tomlinson and Janette Speyer are online marketers, social media strategists and work for Web Success Team. You can follow them @websuccess or join the Web Success Team Facebook Page