This is second of a three-parter that describes how female employees can handle unwanted sexual advances and thereby shape workplace standards for men. Check out 597 before proceeding, because background shown there includes her mission statement and strategy. Post 599 tomorrow provides the remaining half of the list shown here.
Don’t take what follows as gospel. Take it as examples of defining her persona with a team. She draws lines up to which everyone else must step. To do so, she takes firm stands and announce them clearly. This makes men turn on their polite and respectful side for work instead of impolitely suggesting something else. She should deal assertively with many kinds of offenses until they stop:
· She receives a suggestive compliment on her appearance. Smile, and say “That’s none of your business during business hours.” Dismissed with business terminology strengthens her stand. She draws a professional line in the sand.
· She receives an unwanted sexual advance. She first takes control: Use shock if he’s good looking, less if he’s not, but firm friendliness if he’s creepy. Smile swiftly, then drop the smile, scornfully say “That’s once” and return to her work or walk away undisturbed. She draws a sexual line in the sand.
· She receives a sexual advance from a man to whom she’s attracted. Firmly say, “Stop that on the job” and walk away or return to work. If she responds invitingly or nicely to keep from offending him, other men expect the same. When they don’t receive it, she loses respect, regard, and maybe affection as co-worker. She crowned the ‘offender’ as exceptional, other men lost out, and she loses control of shaping the work environment to her expectations. It weakens her personal, sexual, and professional lines in the sand.
Continued in post 599 tomorrow.