Diversity Woman Magazine

FAL 2018

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m Fa l l 2 0 1 8 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 33 By Kimberly Olson I n recent months, sexual harassment allegations have been lodged against dozens of prominent men— from Hollywood to Silicon Valley to Congress. While media attention tends to focus on those with high- profile careers, sexual harassment occurs in all kinds of workplaces. As people share their personal stories on social media as part of the MeToo movement, organizations are taking notice. "We're seeing companies like Uber, Google, Nike, and Mattel having to go through a major shake-up because of what's happening on social media and in the news," says Shirley Davis, PhD, CEO of SDS Global Enterprises. "A lot of victims have found their voice and strength, and companies are reacting in a way they weren't before. I do not think that this will pass with the news cycle." Sexual harassment is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and if one employee harasses another, the employee's organization can be penalized. "When you start paying out multimillion dollar settlements, it becomes very costly," Dr. Davis says. "e damage to your brand image and reputation take years to restore." e US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harass- ment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual fa- vors, and other verbal or physical harassment that is sexual in nature, as well as comments about a person's sex, such as an offensive comment about women. It may be touching someone inappropriately, saying something insulting about a coworker's gender or sexual orientation, or sending inap- propriate texts, photos, or posts on social media. What should you do if a colleague makes you uncomfort- able? We talked to experts about how women—and men who are also victims of sexual harassment—should handle some common situations. Here's what they said. Expert advice on how to respond We Mean Business > Take the Lead Sexual Harassment at Work ISTOCKPHOTOS

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