Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.
WHEN A PERSON IS CALLED ON THEIR COMMENTS OR JOKES,
THEIR RESPONSE IS "IT'S ONLY A JOKE" OR “CAN'T YOU TAKE A JOKE?”
A WOMAN IN A MALE DOMINATED WORKPLACE GETS LESS THAN KIND
COMMENTS FROM THE GUYS AND WHEN ASKED ABOUT IT QUIETLY,
SHE SAYS IT DOESN'T BOTHER HER, OR SHE CAN TAKE IT
ASKING A PERSON WHO IS CONSIDERED A "MINORITY"
TO DO TASKS OTHERS ARE REQUIRED TO DO, YET THEY CRY FOUL
EMPLOYEES WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT MANAGEMENT AND MANAGERS WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT UNIONS, GENERALLY
WHEN SEVERAL EMPLOYEES MAKE DEROGATORY COMMENTS ABOUT
ANOTHER EMPLOYEE, WHO IS NOT PRESENT, AND OUTSIDE OF WORK
WHEN SOMEONE TELLS A JOKE, MOST PEOPLE LAUGH, BUT IT'S INAPPROPRIATE, ESPECIALLY FOR ONE PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE, BUT NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING
WHEN EMPLOYEES DON'T WANT TO PICK UP THE SLACK BECAUSE A CHRISTIAN EMPLOYEE NEEDS TIME OFF FOR MASS AND WON'T WORK ON SUNDAYS
WHEN AN EMPLOYEE TAKES PART IN REPUGNANT, BUT NOT ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS A WHITE SUPREMACIST GROUP, OUTSIDE OF WORK
YET NEVER SAYS OR DOES ANYTHING AT WORK
WHEN TWO EMPLOYEES WERE VERY GOOD FRIENDS, BUT HAD A PHYSICAL FIGHT OUTSIDE WORK AND NOW ONE OF THEM WON'T WORK WITH THE OTHER
OVER SOME OPEN FORM OF COMMUNICATION (RADIO OR GROUP EMAIL) AN EMPLOYEE STATES ABOUT ONE OF THE GUYS, "IT MUST BE THAT TIME OF THE MONTH" BECAUSE THIS FELLOW WAS BEING TOO EMOTIONAL
WHEN A WOMAN CAN’T DO THE SAME PHYSICAL WORK
A MALE CO-WORKER CAN DO, BUT IT’S ONLY A SMALL PART OF THE JOB
WHEN A PERSON APPEARS ALMOST RUDE IN EMAILS, BUT IN PERSON THEY COME ACROSS DIFFERENTLY – CONSIDERATE
WHEN SOMEONE WON’T TAKE “NO” FOR AN ANSWER – THEY HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL APPEALS AND PEOPLE DON’T SEE IT HIS WAY
WHEN SOMEONE IS AFRAID TO SAY ANYTHING TO SOMEONE WHO IS “DIFFERENT” FOR FEAR OF A COMPLAINT OR INSULTING THESE PEOPLE
PERSONS LOWER THEIR VOICES WHEN TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE WHO IS (WHISPER) “BLACK”
There are still examples where very few women work in male-dominated workplaces. There may be many legitimate reasons, but you don’t want your workplace full of illegitimate reasons. The illegitimate ones may include comments which suggest men and women should be doing certain jobs and never shall they meet. Other lame excuses for making women feel out of place include: they are taking away a man’s job; they aren’t as strong as men; we can’t be ourselves when women are around; or, she’s distracting me - I can’t keep my eyes off her.
If these thoughts go through the minds of men (or even women), that’s not your problem. However, if they are openly expressed, then it is your problem – one you want to prevent.
Many women have no difficulty standing up for themselves. If they hear something they don’t like, they’ll let others know it. Or if the guys like to give a zinger, many women are willing to give a zinger back. As long as it doesn’t lead to further problems, it might be a good approach.
Yet there are other women who, when they hear derogatory or sexist comments, they don’t want to do anything. Some women know they are already being judged so they don’t want to rock the boat any more than they need to. It seems easier to go along to get along. Hence, if you approach one of your female employees about an inappropriate comment, she might just slough it off or say it’s no big deal.
When a man on the job makes an inappropriate comment or joke to, or about a woman, don’t wait to ask her what she thinks about it. If you can tell it’s inappropriate, you don’t need to single out any woman to get her thoughts about what needs to be done. Deal with it yourself. On the other hand, you may be unsure if something is a problem. In that case, you can approach the woman and ask for her thoughts. Just be sure to let her know you support every employee and don’t put up with comments which are inappropriate.
To the man “Is that something you’d say to your daughter/wife/mother?”
Or “Let’s leave those comments back in the 1950s. Get with the times.”
To the woman “You may not want to make this into a big deal and neither do I, but I don’t appreciate the comments some of the guys are making. When I hear anything similar again, I’ll speak up – if you don’t want to say anything.”
Or “Not everyone thinks the way ‘Bob’ thinks on this issue. You’re a strong enough person and I’d encourage you to speak up when you think it’s appropriate. If you don’t, please come and talk to me. We can find a way to put a stop to these comments.”
Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
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