Monday, February 12, 2018

The Impact of #MeToo! By "BOSS Influencer" Tana Session

There is finally a shift happening in the paradigm of leadership across all industries. With the recent departures of powerful male leaders in film, television, radio, government and more, women are coming together and demanding long-overdue respect in the workplace. I have experienced my own #metoo scenarios over the years, and shrugged it off as flirting, “boys being boys”, no big deal or just plain gross! I, too, did not report it at the time for multiple reasons: fear of losing my job, not wanting to have a bad reputation, not wanting to be the topic of office gossip and not wanting to jeopardize my career growth.

Women are coming together like never before. For too long, women and people of color have feared mentoring, supporting, advocating and promoting others who looked like them in the workplace, mainly out of perceived fear of negatively impacting their own career trajectory. This mindset must change in order for true change to happen. There also needs to be more diversity in leadership to help mitigate the likelihood of harassment of any type in the workplace. Diversity in ethnicity, life experience, education, socio-economic background and gender will be required at the top levels of leadership to help reduce ongoing workplace harassment.

Men must realize workplace harassment can result in performance issues, absenteeism, change in behavior and low self-esteem of their female counterparts. Most women will not report harassment for multiple reasons of fear, much like my own listed above. However, the current climate is now supportive of women coming forward and sharing their stories and filing complaints against the male leaders who harassed them, regardless of how much time has passed since the incident occurred. They are no longer being judged or questioned about their intent for filing complaints. Human Resources departments are stepping up their efforts to address these complaints in a timelier manner, and acting quickly to address the behavior with the accused. Zero tolerance policies are finally being enforced with the dismissal of some of the highest-ranking male leaders of our time.

By not telling our stories and not reporting these incidents, we continue to give the harassment power over us. Tell a supervisor, Human Resources representative, your husband, brother, family member or closest ally. Women should no longer fear coming forward when they know they have been disrespected or harassed in the workplace. We already have to deal with this behavior when we walk in our neighborhoods, ride public transportation and go out with girlfriends to crowded bars or nightclubs. We should not have to deal with or accept this type behavior in our place of employment. We are just trying to make a decent living to take care of ourselves and or families, just like our male counterparts. Just imagine how these stories would end if the roles were reversed.

To find out more about Tana Session, visit her at:
Instagram: @tanamsession

1 comment:

  1. You're so right Tana, by telling our stories, we open the door for change! There's power in the narrative.