The Other Pandemic ...
In 3 days, I've accidentally uncovered at least 5 counts of sexual harassment.
All of these allegations were 'reviewed' by HR.
I'm not talking years, this is the last 12 months.
HR has - and will never be - about protecting people - unless that person owns the company.
I worked next to women who probably held their breath when a particular man walked by. They sat in fear or contempt, where all the emotions that we are told are not professional. were ignited by a man who couldn't act professionally and where the only consequences were a 'stern chat' with HR.
Some of these women were young and fresh into their career. While they were learning the ropes they also had to learn to question their own boundaries.
"Fear not, there is always someone from HR to talk to" ... except when someone tells them about an issue at work, they pass that information to the accused.
I'm reminded of sitting in a room with an older man at a company event.
He sat close, no one was in the room, and he closed the door.
He must have thought I was younger, more naive. I knew at that moment what was going to happen but even then I thought "don't be overdramatic."
As he sat down I moved over ... he sat closer ... I moved over ... he moved in ... suddenly I moved myself to the next seat which was actually the coffee table. I exited shortly after that.
I've told this story many times, and I've told it as me being the clever fox. But now I've stopped telling that story as I don't want juniors thinking it's their fault when it happens to them. And it's not a case of it, merely when. So here I am with information about women who have been screwed over and still asked to work more hours and all I can do is be a shoulder to support them ... but fuck me I am tired of having to hear women having these issues.
I want women to need my support with a brief or support with a pitch or support with a colour palette - but not this. No one should need this. I shouldn't be surprised, this isn't the first time I've heard these stories. I just hoped it would be different at this company.
Is it different anywhere?