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Dealing with workplace harassment, bullying and discrimination to create a respectful workplace

Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.

ARTICLES

#11

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

 

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.

 

TRY THIS:

 

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.

 

HOW ABOUT:

 

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.

Stephen's NEW Book

available now

© STEPHEN HAMMOND - HARASSMENT SOLUTIONS INC.    
 
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Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.

Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.

© STEPHEN HAMMOND HARASSMENT SOLUTIONS INC.
 
  
 
CONTACT