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Is Sexual Harassment a Severe Crime... or Not?

Is Sexual Harassment a Severe Crime... or Not?

Eve Tahmincioglu |

Here are some tips:

Confront it head on. From the moment women feel any sexual harassment, even if it’s slight, they should be firm and very clear with the harasser that that kind of behavior is unacceptable, said Gabriela Cora, author of “Alpha Female: Leader of a Pack of Bitches — Winning Strategies to Become an Outstanding Leader.” If you don’t confront it right away, she adds, the harassment could just escalate.

So, the first time that off-colored joke is told at a meeting or at lunch, she continues, you should convey a message right away, even in front of other colleagues, that “you don’t like to play this way.”

Women and men, she adds, need to show right away that the behavior is unwanted, that they’ve done nothing to deserve it and that they really mean business. “They can’t be wishy washy.”

Broaden your network now. “I suggest that a woman manager should already have developed good, solid relationships within HR managers, be a big supporter of company policies and initiatives, and maintain good professional relationships with those who surround her boss and who he or she reports into,” Neville advises.

Pick your battles. Not every joke in the office or at the plant is meant to undermine a female leader’s authority. As a manager, you should be able to deal with some of the cracks the good old boys’ network — still is the upper echelon of corporate America — is used to, especially if they don’t really make you feel uncomfortable.

“What I’ve seen is women who tend to say they’ve never been harassed carry themselves with a sure and secure personality and can brush off unwanted advances,” she says.

Know when enough is enough. If the harassment just does not subside, be extremely professional about reporting it and document everything, Neville advises. Despite how it might impact your career, she notes, HR departments tend to think charges made by managers are more likely to have merit.

This article was originally posted on CareerDiva.

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