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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Breaking the Silence
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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Breaking the Silence

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Despite great efforts to train employees and enforce strong consequences for sexually harassing behavior, it still remains a great …

Despite great efforts to train employees and enforce strong consequences for sexually harassing behavior, it still remains a great
challenge for many, especially women. Victims of sexual harassment are often afraid to speak up and fear the consequences or
impact on professional success and image. In this workshop, we break the silence by addressing this issue head on and supporting
each other in protecting our rights to respect and honor in the workplace.
Learning Objective: Increase knowledge and awareness around sexual harassment
Outcomes- At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
a. Clarify the difference between appropriate, inappropriate, and illegal behaviors associated with sexual harassment
b. Practice sending convincing messages to set appropriate boundaries
c. Practice making positive decisions based on context and relationships
d. Explore consequences of decisions and behavior
e. Examine and challenge beliefs, definitions, and assumptions around sexual harassment

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  • 1. October 11–13, 2012Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Breaking the Silence
  • 2. Why Victims Stay Silent• I cannot betray my organization or my friends• I will be removed from my organization• After this is out, they will never look at me the same way• If I don’t say anything, it will pass• Investigations takes too long• Pressure from peers to recant• They will never believe me
  • 3. OVERVIEW• Examine and challenge beliefs, definitions, and assumptions around sexual harassment• Clarify the difference between appropriate, inappropriate, and illegal behaviors associated with sexual harassment• Practice sending convincing messages to set appropriate boundaries• Practice making positive decisions based on context and relationships• Explore consequences of decisions and behavior
  • 4. DEFINITION Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: • Submission to or rejection of is made a term or condition of a person’s job, pay, career • Submission to or rejection of is used as a basis for career or employment decisions • Conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment
  • 5. Types of Sexual Harassment• Quid Pro Quo/Sexual Coercion: (“This for That”) Conditions placed on an individual’s career in return for sexual favors• Hostile Environment: Subjected to offensive, unwanted and unsolicited comments, or behaviors of a sexual nature. If these behaviors unreasonably interfere with an individual’s performance then the environment is classified as hostile – Crude/Offensive behavior – Unwanted sexual attention
  • 6. Examine and challenge beliefs, definitions, and assumptions around sexual harassment• All women say “no” when they really mean yes• She was wearing a mini-skirt and a halter top – dressed provocatively• She invited him over to her room• If a person is a victim of sexual harassment they would have reported it by now• An offender is an odd-looking person who is violent, mentally deranged, or impulsive• Move the victim and the problem will be solved
  • 7. Clarify the difference between appropriate, inappropriate,and illegal behaviors associated with sexual harassmentAppropriate Inappropriate IllegalCompliment Compliment Physical ContactMs. Jones, you look very nice Ms. Jones, you are looking Touching Ms. Jonestoday. extremely sexy in that skirt today. inappropriately where she feels uncomfortable.Appropriate Inappropriate IllegalFlirting Unwelcomed date Quid Pro QuoDon’t – Remember its an attempt Ms. Jones, I’m attracted to you Ms. Jones if you go out on a dateto manipulate someone else. and would like to take you out on with me and put out, I will give a date and possibly go further if you that promotion that’s you know what I mean. available in my department. Note: Ms. Jones is not interested.
  • 8. Continuum of Behaviors Sexual Innuendo Sexual Harassment Sexual Assault Mutually Mutually Inappropriate, or Sexual Sexualconsenting/ safe flirtatious and non-mutual Harassment Assault playful Less Moresevere severe Intervention opportunities (Adapted from The Touch Continuum, Anderson, 2000 and Tabachnick, 2008)
  • 9. Sexual Harassment Indicators• Is the behavior sexual in nature?• Is the behavior unwelcome?• Have sexual favors been demanded, requested, or suggested?• Does the behavior create a hostile or offensive environment?• Would a reasonable person react the same way to this incident or behavior?
  • 10. Responding to Sexual Harassment• There are five techniques of dealing with sexual harassment • Direct approach • Indirect approach • Third party assistance • Leadership Support Chain • File an Informal or Formal complaint
  • 11. Practice sending convincing messages to set appropriate boundaries• Rules, limitations, or guidelines• Do we have to set boundaries?• Let’s keep this professional• Can we just be friends?• Be more assertive• Protect yourself
  • 12. Practice making positive decisions based on context and relationships• Clear communication• Intent versus Impact• Reconnecting the signals• Can you live with the decisions?
  • 13. Explore consequences of decisions and behavior• What might be the after effects of our actions?• Should I be concerned?• What issues need I be aware of?• Can I trust my perceptions?• Will the outcome be positive and productive?• What are the repercussions?• Is what I am doing really worth it?• Do I care?• Is my attitude good and productive?
  • 14. VIGNETTES
  • 15. Peer to Peer - TDYSarah Clark and Michael Drake would frequently travel to different areas tohandle projects. Sarah and Michael considered themselves friends and talkedabout everything. One day on travel, Michael asked Sarah if she wanted to goto the movies after they finished the project. Sarah told Michael that would begreat. Michael said, “I will pick you up at 6”. During the movie, Michael restedhis head on Sarah’s shoulder and began rubbing her inner thigh with his hand.Sarah grabbed his hand and told him to stop. As Sarah was getting up toleave, Michael looked at her and said, “it’s me youre talking to”. Does this constitute sexual harassment/assault? Examples of physical sexual harassment may include touching, patting, pinching, bumping, grabbing, cornering, or blocking a passageway; kissing; and providing unsolicited back or neck rubs. Sexual assault includes rape, nonconsensual sodomy (oral or anal sex), indecent assault (unwanted, inappropriate sexual contact or fondling), or attempts to commit these acts. serious criminal acts
  • 16. Supervisor and Contractor A few months after he began work, Mr. Brian Wallace, COR, was put in charge of the Contract employees. Ms. Linda Norboss, CTR, claims that Brian began harassing her by sending her several sexually explicit emails/texts and telling her about a sexual encounter he had with another woman. Linda says that when she asked Brian to stop, he became angry and walked away. Does this constitute sexual harassment?IAW AR 690-600, The EEO officer will advise the aggrieved that, dependingon the facts and circumstances surrounding the employment relationship,the Army may not be his or her employer under Title VII or any otherantidiscrimination laws. The EEO officer must forward the workingrelationship information to the labor counselor for a fact based analysis andlegal opinion on whether the aggrieved is a covered Army “employee” underthe antidiscrimination laws.
  • 17. Leadership DilemmaRudy Patton, Director, was getting a snack from the vending machinewhen Carla Mathews walked passed him with a frown on her face. Mr.Patton asked Ms. Mathews, “what’s wrong?” Carla replied with, “I’mtired of the men commenting on how I wear my jeans and staring at meas I walk by”. Mr. Patton told Ms. Mathews that he would look into it. What should the Leadership do? • Talk to Carla to get more specifics • Handle the situation internally (training, counseling, and discussion) • Contact the EEO Office for Guidance • Notify Senior Leadership as warranted
  • 18. SUMMARY• Examine and challenge beliefs, definitions, and assumptions around sexual harassment• Clarify the difference between appropriate, inappropriate, and illegal behaviors associated with sexual harassment• Practice sending convincing messages to set appropriate boundaries• Practice making positive decisions based on context and relationships• Explore consequences of decisions and behavior
  • 19. HAND-OUTS
  • 20. Appropriate Inappropriate Illegal Appropriate Inappropriate IllegalBehavior: Behavior:Example: Example:
  • 21. BELIEFS BELIEFSDEFINITIONS DEFINITIONSASSUMPTIONS ASSUMPTIONS