There have been a litany of sexual harassment accusations recently causing many of us to reflect on our own experiences, and question how to support and change the culture around us. Before we get into specifics on how we can help, I want to take a moment to define sexual harassment.
According the the EEOC, sexual harassment is defined as:
“Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when 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.”
By Sunday, October 15, Twitter was filled with stories and comments tagged #MeToo showing the magnitude of people impacted by sexual harassment, and it is still going. The impact and span of this problem is almost incomprehensible, and can leave us wondering how to help.
I came across a great article on CNN that details exactly how we can all make a difference with small acts that result in big impacts.
Nicole Stamp wrote an opinion piece that I believe serves as a roadmap for changing the conversation and culture around unwanted sexual advances, and you can read it here.
Each of us can make a difference in changing the atmosphere and conversation around sexual harassment. Taking a moment to follow the #MeToo campaign gives a perspective of the magnitude of the problem. It’s a problem facing many of our wives, daughters, co-workers, sisters, grandmothers, nieces, and friends, and it’s time to shine a light in this dark corner.