This year has been marked by a lot of women coming out to speak about the harassment they have experienced at work. A lot of men who have been in power their entire lives have finally seen an end to it. Once the stories got out, they quickly headed for the exit.
The truth is that there are still a lot of men out there who are in power and are using their power to abuse women. It does not mean though that all men at work are abusing women. A lot of them are actually good guys. If you are one of them, being complicit does not help. You have to be proactive. People can be harassed not only through sex but in other ways as well. There are still a lot of women who need work and you can do something to be of help.
Learn how to listen
The problem with men in power over the past years is that they always think that they are not vulnerable at all. They easily dismiss women. They think of women as the weaker sex and their ideas are not great. They think of women who are communicating their thoughts as loud people who don’t make sense. Therefore, being able to sit down and just listen would be of great help. Most women actually don’t expect that their ideas will be followed. They just want a platform for them to be heard- that they won’t be shut down because men think they are better. Let them speak and show that you are willing to listen.
You need to speak up
Aside from being able to listen to women, you also need to speak up for them when need be. There are instances in which some men tend to be abusive to women. If you see this kind of relationship at work, you have to be willing to back these women up. When someone says something inappropriate about a woman, call that man out and ask him to apologize. Don’t let anything go by without being tackled head on. When you allow men to think that what they are doing is ok, women will surely be back to being quiet again. Over the years, a lot of women coming out to tell their story are hesitant because no one backs them up. You can be of help and speaking out is a way to do so.
Since men have been in power for a very long time, they have also been privileged to have the necessary skills and knowledge to move up the corporate ladder. You can be among those men who have gained enough skills that you can share some of them to women. They need someone like you to feel empowered. Don’t think that you will be left out just because you have started sharing your knowledge. In fact, you will be respected for your honorable act. All of us have skills and potentials that are waiting to be tapped.
You can do something to change the culture and work and your help will go a long way.
Featured and 1st image from http://cdn.skim.gs/image/upload/v1456338763/msi/man-and-woman-at-work_qj4csd.jpg
2nd image from http://www.idesigncollaborative.com/empowering-women-in-the-workplace/