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Chiming In On Sexual Harassment

Introduction

There was a lot of buzz today on the sexual harassment of our female peers. The first post I saw was from Alan Stevens. This was followed by at least two more from Steve Jones and Denny Cherry - and there were likely more I haven't yet seen.

Women

Approximately half the population is female, but the ratio is much different in technology. In addition, women are leaving technology in droves. After reading of Alan's experience and catching a few Tweets on the matter, it's easy to understand why.

This bugs me. Part of the reason it bugs me is it's just wrong. This isn't hard to figure out. It's immoral. It can cost you a job. It can cost you a civil suit. It can cost you a relationship with someone you care about. Is it worth all that? I mean, even if you harass a woman and she takes you up on it. Really?

Another part of the reason is I am married to a wonderful woman and the father of three beautiful daughters - and I wouldn't want any of them to experience this, though I'm sure Christy, Manda, and Penny have. Only Emma (age 3) has been spared, and that won't last.

Yet another part of the reason is I've said and done stupid things trying to be funny that doubtless made female peers uncomfortable.

The Solution?

"Doc? It hurts when I do this." Doc: "Don't do that."

Treat others how you want to be treated, regardless of gender. Build and maintain a culture of trust and respect. This can take years to construct, but only minutes to destroy.

Conclusion

It's not that difficult. We have to live a little more like we work: think and do. Especially think.

I appreciate Alan's post. It not only reminded me to show women proper respect, it educated me: I now have a good response when I witness this in the future.

Thanks Alan.

:{> Andy

Published Thursday, March 12, 2009 12:42 AM by andy
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