Harassment at the Workplace:
Let’s not talk about numerous political figures self-trap and the new #Metoo standards! That old man has a lot in his kitty, mostly under political networking. Let’s discuss something more real, harassment at the workplace.
“Saloni, a smart confident intern ready to rock the business world was awaiting her turn for her first interview. Quite ambitious and brilliant, she was quick to impress the interviewer, head of Marketing of that MNC. She got the offer letter within the week, with the joining date as “immediate”.
With the feelings of elation, and with the thirst to know more about her work, she approached her Manager (the one who hired her), after the briefing was over. While the discussion was going on, she found him to be quite friendly. For her, what was important, was her work and building up of a golden career.
Hardly did she knew that she was being glanced across the canvas more often than she would have even thought of. As she was closing up for the day, he enquired her, if she would like to be dropped off for home, after having dinner together. Quite startling, a naive working woman, didn’t know how to react. What she felt in her eyes, was discomfort and feeling of soreness in her heart. She took a few minutes only to utter “No sir, it’ll not be possible today”.
Was it Harassment at work?
Why did he ask me only? It could have been a team dinner if there was anything such planned. With deep guilt, she felt as if mayhem struck her. The next day, she handed over the piece of paper! Well, that was her resignation letter, within 15 days of joining.
She felt harassed, right in her first job and that fear of harassment gripped her forever. It struck her mind so much that she couldn’t break the shackles of harassment throughout her life.
It’s not just one case, there are numerous such cases in every organization. 90% of the cases, just like that of Saloni, are never even spoken off. The humongous volumes revealed in #Metoo campaign spoke up a lot if one would have followed it closely. Workplace harassment/Harassment at work is one of the most humiliating challenges that women face at their workplace. Workplace harassment includes shaming, discrimination (race, age, any disability), bullying and also sexual harassment. “Sexual harassment is a subset of Workplace harassment, which includes unwelcoming attention, any kind of sexually oriented behavior, directly or indirectly, verbally or non verbally. “
But the story doesn’t end here. The need of an hour is what Saloni never did, of speaking out and protesting against that unwelcoming move.
Susan Ho, Cofounder, Journy, quoted, When you talk about Sexual Harassment, it’s like dropping a Nuclear bomb on your career”.
And it seems, this is the reason, why harassment at workplace never seems to come at an end.
How to handle harassment in the workplace?
To me, the fear of saying nothing and living with it is the worst thing that we can do to “ourselves”. Harassment at the workplace is so prevalent, that it makes me think twice, which equality are we fighting for? These same men speak about diversity, then about equality, but can you first think about “Being Human”?
If such incidences cannot be curtailed, let’s stand up, and show their real faces turning the tabloids. If you’ll go out and speak with other women, most of the suggestions will ask you to never apply with such an organization, or get used to it, as these favors are needed to climb the ladder! I feel those people are in a poor state of mind, who have lost all the self-respect just for the sake of those ambitions, which will perish any day anytime. I’ll urge every woman, to take a strong stance against workplace harassment. Let’s take a pledge ladies!
Here are a few ways to handle, if you are facing workplace Harassment / Sexual harassment :
1. Have the guts to say “No” :
Don’t let people come up and say that “You were a damsel in distress“. No! Believe in your own dignity, be it even losing your job, if those favors are not passed. Once, twice, thrice, if such behaviors hear more “No” than being mum, hopefully, it will see an end.
2. Report these instances :
Most of the organizations have POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) committees. You can take up the matter with POSH committee and HR. You will be subjected to lots of grueling questions during that inquiry, so handle it truthfully and tactfully. One should even read out employee policy, so as to understand the actionable.
3. Document it :
Yes, that’s a very important aspect. If you’ve faced any such harassment, be very open and document it on the mail. You can also email the corresponding person of the unwanted favors that had been asked for. These would also help you in verification and proving your point. In case you were asked favors or bullied via online medium, keep those screenshots with you as proof.
Also, if it is your reporting manager, then you could be the target at losing Job due to “Poor Performance”. So better keep records of your work performances and evaluations.
4. Speak to the harasser :
You can definitely do that. Let the harasser know of the humiliation you met with. And how you would not want to be dragged into any such discriminations and harassment. Let them know about your seriousness only for the “work”. At times, it can really work.
5. Ask for support :
Don’t feel alone, harassment can be spoken and discussed. Talking to close friends and family will give you that mental support and right direction. Don’t feel low, when you’re not liable for it. Go social and drag the harasser too.
Make your voices heard, it’ll be a step to prevent another soul being pulled into any harassment, be it bullying or be it sexual harassment at the workplace. These steps could really change the policies of an organization, I bet!
Not every Sorry deserves, “It’s Okay” in return!
Let the world know your real strength, Oh Woman!
Stay Blessed and Safe,