Jeremy Vine said Sugar Tits!
Hello there my little monkeys, as usual let’s jump and shout ‘pink monkeys’ before we crack on to limber up!
This month I want to talk about the recent and continuing news headlines about sexual conduct in the workplace. From reading the news of late it appears it is a growing problem and those in positions of power are the worse offenders, it seems. Is it a growing problem though? It is certainly a problem that is becoming more widely reported and that is the exact reason why we should all be more vigilant in what we say and do. Past considerations have been focused on race or disability and how we need to change our behaviour so not to discriminate against those persons who may be affected. Now however, it is the turn of sex and gender. It is remarkable to think the Equal Pay Act came in 1970 and the Sex Discrimination Act in 1975 but it is only today in 2017, some 40 years later we are finally starting to talk about how women are mistreated in the workplace. I bet Mark Garnier wished he hadn’t called his secretary Sugar tits! And the person who thought up of the word ‘banter’ is now hiding under a pillow denying their own existence. Although that was in the 1670s and they probably don’t care a fig! Incidentally, banter is thought to mean ‘talk of women’, so the problem of sex and gender has been going on for some time.
Many proclaim it is a sad world when we can’t have a laugh and that some women just take it too far. Being honest, it probably is and some probably do. However, we need to train our behaviour to abide by a few golden rules.
1. Don’t get too close, especially if you don’t need to. Respect each other’s space.
2. Don’t use terms which might lead to misinterpretation.
3. Respect people for being people. A person who is different to you is not inferior.
4. Don’t make people do things for you which makes them feel uncomfortable, may be immoral, unethical or illegal.
5. Respect, ‘NO’. It is a person’s right to use the word, it is not your right to ignore it.
If you are someone who is experiencing unwanted attention whether that be physical, emotional or mental it is ok to speak to someone. Really this should be your manager or HR but I appreciate this can be very difficult and especially if you feel that you job may be affected. I’m not going to sugar coat that all is utopia in the business world and discrimination does happen in regard to pay and promotion. There are many other organisations you can talk to and get advice from which are confidential if you feel more comfortable doing that.
ACAS: 0300 123 1100
iTV This Morning provides a full page of contacts at: https://www.itv.com/thismorning/sexual-harassment-helplines