Did y’all make it through last week? I’ll be honest, I barely did without losing it. I have actually spent hours today trying to think of a different topic for this week’s #MONDAYMAGIC✨ but I just couldn’t focus anywhere else.
It was a horrible week for survivors, and supporters of survivors, but personally I refuse to fall into the anger trap (see my Facebook post here).
I’m not going to become the yelling, aggressive, nasty men that I saw in that hearing last week even knowing that their behavior is what secured Justice Kavanaugh’s seat on the Supreme Court. It may work, but it’s not the world I want to live in.
So I’m not going to go into the craziness, but highly encourage you to check out these two articles. First is a Politico article, “I Rewatched Anita Hill’s Testimony. So Much Has Changed. So Much Has Not.” and second is a Slate article on why teenage girls don’t report sexual assault, “That’s Just One More Barrier to Coming Forward”.
Instead, I’m going to focus today on our responsibilities as leaders to create cultures that support survivors, encourage reporting, and successfully address sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace. Cause guess what? It’s everywhere.
As a manager and/or a leader, I hope your focus is not only compliance and liability of sexual harassment laws. Because at many places, that’s as far as it goes. That is NOT enough. You have to be an active leader and a supportive leader. One that sees or hears red flags and goes in head first after them. That doesn’t mean jumping to conclusions, politicizing the situation, or airing dirty laundry for everyone to see and hear — it simply means that you take the situation seriously from the second you have an inkling that something is going on.
First things first, make sure that your survivor is comfortable and taken care of during the investigation process — they should not have to continue working under or around the accused party. Second, you are not the one that should be doing this investigation — hire an unbiased third-party with a proven track record to investigate ASAP. Third, take the results very seriously and take action quickly.
This #NowWhat Toolkit from the Better Life Lab at New America is a fantastic resource. “Whether you’re an individual struggling with how to respond to sexual harassment at work, a manager responsible for creating a culture of civility, an advocate seeking ways to promote effective change, or a policy expert analyzing approaches to tailor and scale solutions, this toolkit provides promising ideas and the current state of best practices to prevent and end sexual harassment in the workplace.” Check it out here.
If you take nothing else from today’s #MONDAYMAGIC✨, just remember to take care of yourself and take care of your people in this incredibly trying and terrifying time for survivors.
Talk soon 👋🏻