In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal which was brought to light by a New York Times article- its apparent that speaking up about sexual harassment is still taboo.
Sexual misconduct in the work place is prevalent across every industry. But those who experience it often times remain silent in fear of consequences. Within the last month dozens of women have accused Harvey Weinsten of sexual harassment and rape. Actors such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Cara Delevingne among many spoke up about the famous Hollywood producers improper behavior. So many questions arise as the accusations come to light. Why did it take so long to break the silence? Why are men in executive positions getting away with such disgusting behavior? It took one brave person to speak up to cause this ripple effect which continues to unfold.
Weinstein reportedly demanded sexual favors from actress in exchange of a promising career in Hollywood. Those who rejected the producers demands felt major backlash in their career. Although Weinstein has issued a public apology his reputation is tarnished.
Evidently Individuals in positions of power prey on inexperienced subordinates. It is easy for them to take advantage of those who want to make “it” in the industry. Harvey Weinstein historically was known for being inappropriate. But it took years for the victims to finally step forward.
Below are three tips on how to manage sexual harassment in the workplace:
Speak up – If you suddenly find yourself in a situation where you feel taken advantage of – confront the abuser. Let he or she know that their behavior is unacceptable. State that you will no longer tolerate disrespect but remain professional at all times. Remove yourself from that environment if possible.
Contact HR – Familiarize yourself with the HR partner – know your rights. Raise this issue to a human resources professional. Their purpose is to help and guide you through difficult work situations. Seek assistance from external counsel if necessary.
Document where possible – evidence is key – save all emails, phone logs and any other evidence that demonstrates sexual harassment. Having documentation will support your allegations if you decide to take legal measures.
Sexual harassment shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’re ever in this situation please speak up as it can serve as an opportunity to raise awareness.