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Death by a Thousand Cuts

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Death by a Thousand Cuts

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A presentation I gave to a bank in 2018 on workplace harassment. Workplaces tend to focus on the "big" bullying type cases but overlook the micro aggressions, which contribute to a toxic culture and accumulatively can drive employees away.

A presentation I gave to a bank in 2018 on workplace harassment. Workplaces tend to focus on the "big" bullying type cases but overlook the micro aggressions, which contribute to a toxic culture and accumulatively can drive employees away.

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Death by a Thousand Cuts

  1. 1. Be a Man Death by a Thousand Cuts Animah Kosai A Talk on Workplace Harassment & Sexual Harassment I wouldn’t wipe my a#@* with that! I don’t like women You’re not fulfilling your role and are disrespectful to me You’re no good All Indians are like that no one is going to hire you back in the Oil & Gas Industry Let the Dean cut you down to size and show you the exit door She’s high maintenance, Hahaha I dream of you every night If you tell anyone, you’ll never get a job in banking again Speak Up
  2. 2. Speak Up Harassment Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. Harassment becomes unlawful where 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive EEOC Definition Examples: Offensive jokes, name-calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with work performance. Bullying, isolating colleagues, gossiping.
  3. 3. Speak Up Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment is unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature which:  • violates your dignity,  • makes you feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated and  • creates a hostile or offensive work environment. UK Citizen’s Bureau Definition Forms: Physical Verbal Visual Gestures Written/Digital Psychological
  4. 4. RAPE Sexual Assault TYPE IMPACT,FREQUENCY&POWER Acts with Consent Verbal sexual jokes Asks for sexual favours promising career progression/ perception of adverse impact if not given Suggestive messages Date invitation Light unwanted touching, hugging Touching areas normally concealed Forcing oneself, kissing, squeezing, rubbing Flashing, masturbating Creating atmosphere where sexual harassment continues Threatening messages e.g. rape Explicit images in workplace Cat calls Gradations of workplace sexual harassment Fails to act on harassment reports Sexual advances Sexual hints Sexual gesturesLustful staring STALKING Consent No Consent Explicit images of self or victim Flirting Act is more serious with more power Speak Up
  5. 5. Percentage of People Sexually Harassed at Work Percentage Speak Up Survey UK US EU Asia Pacific Singapore 0 17.5 35 52.5 70 Sources: Speak Up Survey Oct 2017 (65% Malaysia, including UK, US etc.) Singapore: 2008 AWARE Survey http://www.aware.org.sg/training/wsh-site/14-statistics/ UK: 2016 TUC Survey https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/SexualHarassmentreport2016.pdf US: 2015 Cosmopolitan Survey https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/19/1-in-3-women-sexually-harassed-work- cosmopolitan_n_6713814.html European Union & Asia Pacific: 2011 UN http://endviolence.un.org/pdf/pressmaterials/unite_the_situation_en.pdf 54% 52% 33% 40-50% 30-40% 63% Speak Up
  6. 6. SPEAK UP SURVEY ON WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT ‣ 62% have been sexually harassed. ▸ 30% unwanted touching ▸ 2.6% sexual assault/rape ‣ 52% verbal Speak Up
  7. 7. SPEAK UP SURVEY ON WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT ‣ 50% by the boss/ senior person in the organisation ▸ 26% by an influential outsider ▸ 48% by peers WHO SEXUALLY HARASSED YOU? Speak Up
  8. 8. SPEAK UP SURVEY ON WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT 40% have a policy 15% give training 19% have a process 10% special training for HR to handle SH reports 14% have a hotline 42% say none/not aware 11% occasional talk 18% non-retaliation policy 9% onboarding training Speak Up WHAT DOES YOUR ORGANISATION HAVE TO ADDRESS SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
  9. 9. WHAT DID YOU DO WHEN YOU EXPERIENCED SEXUAL HARASSMENT? ▸ 44% kept quiet ▸ 35% told harasser it is wrong ▸ 14% told HR/ management ▸ 15% left the organisation SPEAK UP SURVEY ON WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENTSpeak Up
  10. 10. WHY DIDN’T YOU REPORT TO HR/ MANAGEMENT? SPEAK UP SURVEY ON WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT 23% fear harasser will retaliate 11% do not want to relive trauma 31% fear adverse career impact 21% fear not being believed 20% fear being blamed 25% say harasser will influence HR 17% don’t want to get harasser into trouble 46% don’t believe HR will act Speak Up
  11. 11. So What?
  12. 12. Speak Up What happens to the company if you ignore harassment? • Reputation damaged • Trust erosion, e.g. government institutions like Parliament and Congress • Business loss: The Weinstein Company • Criminal charges: UK and US police investigating Weinstein, Spacey • Lawsuits: The Weinstein Company - in UK, claim for damages • Settlements: Since 1997, Congress paid $17 million for 268 harassment/ discrimination claims • Share value drop:Uber, writes downs as high as 15% • CEO has to go: Travis Kalanick, Dave McClure • Terminations: Spacey, Weinstein, Uber fired over 20 after external investigation of 215 claims
  13. 13. Speak Up • Low morale • Absenteeism, sick leave, anxiety, depression • Resignations • Low productivity, goals not met • Once high performers lose their shine, become demotivated • Less likely to pursue ambition, settles by playing safe, leaves the workforce. Big factor in retaining women as talent • A toxic workplace, emboldening those who harass What happens to the employees if you ignore harassment?
  14. 14. When harassment covers wrongdoing
  15. 15. Speak Up
  16. 16. TESCO accountants allege being bullied into manipulating accounts. Ex CEO, CFO and Manager charged. Trial ongoing
  17. 17. Wells Fargo was ordered by the Labor Department to pay $5.4 million and rehire a whistleblower who was fired after calling the ethics hotline to report suspected fraud. Source: CNN Money One former Wells Fargo human resources official even said the bank had a method in place to retaliate against tipsters. He said that Wells Fargo would find ways to fire employees "in retaliation for shining light" on sales issues. It could be as simple as monitoring the employee to find a fault, like showing up a few minutes late on several occasions, CNN Money
  18. 18. What Should I Do?
  19. 19. Speak Up When I witness harassment • Intervene - say something • Offer support - practical, emotional • Counsel the harasser • Report it Your options may depend on power dynamics. If you are senior, with HR or Compliance, it is incumbent upon you to act. DO NOT • Stay silent • Laugh along • Encourage the harasser
  20. 20. Speak Up When I am harassed • Inform harasser that this is harassment: eg, when you call me stupid, I feel undermined and it affects my work performance. If you continue to do this, it is harassment. • Document each incident, as detailed as possible, immediately after the incident. E- mail the details to yourself, trusted colleagues. • Retain evidence, eg text messages, e-mails. • Speak to someone for emotional and practical support. Keeping it to yourself can affect you emotionally and physically. • Note if you are changing work habits - eg, avoiding the person etc. (Being aware of how the harassment impacts you). • Inform your boss • Report it DO NOT Stay Silent Harassers repeat the behaviour with others
  21. 21. Speak Up Watching the harasser HARASSER TRAITS BINGO Distract Change the Narrative Turn attention to the Victim Get followers to laugh at Victim Blame the Victim Play the Victim Name calling Humiliate Create conflict/ toxic environment Intimidate/ threaten Deny lie Twist the truth Gaslight SPEAK UP
  22. 22. Speak Up When I have harassed • Apologise as soon as becoming aware that you have crossed the line (unless the person is traumatised - then express it to HR). • Accept responsibility. DO NOT deny, make excuses or dismiss the person’s feelings. Admit you were wrong. • Be genuine in not repeating it. • If you have anger management issues, seek help. • Be conscious of what you say/do • Get support from a trusted colleague to shadow you and give feedback
  23. 23. Speak Up When I lead For Management, HR and Compliance • Role model • Set the tone • Remind people of policy • Take action • Policy • Process • Reporting channel • Investigation protocol • Leadership • Diversity • Effective training & awareness • Regular climate surveys & reviews DO NOT ignore harassment or bury your head in the sand. Instead of going away, the workplace gets more toxic
  24. 24. Speak Up The Speak Up Journey • Clarity on areas to speak up • Identifying barriers to speaking up • Overcoming the barriers • Learning to listen and receive feedback • Creating safe spaces & Listen
  25. 25. Harassment & Sexual HarassmentSpeak Up
  26. 26. Breaking the Silence on Wrongdoing in Corporations Speak Up SpeakUpAtWork
  27. 27. & Listen Speak Up SpeakUpAtWork Animah Kosai on LinkedIn SpeakUpAtWork on Twitter & Facebook

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