Is there Justice for GI Jane

Posted by on Jun 30, 2013 in Discrimination, Diversity Training, sexual harassment

Is There Justice For GI Jane? Is there Justice for GI Jane? Is there Justice for GI Jane? Do you remember the hardships Demi Moore’s character went through to become the first woman to join Navy Special Forces in the 1997 film GI Jane? The torment, the sacrifice and the even the frustration any woman endures to measure up to men in a men’s world should be enough to equalize that system on and off the field of battle for women. Imagine further, that after such dedicated service, GI Jane and another 26,000 of her fellow service women face sexual assault while serving in the military. Often such assault goes unreported and unpunished, leaving the question, is there justice for GI Jane? While GI Jane was fictitious, the pervasive level of sexual assault in the service is not. Unfortunately as Face The Nation* reports, a culture of power in the military leads to the pervasive abuse of women serving our country. In the current system, the commander oversees such complaints; yet this can lead to conflicts of interest or lax oversight, especially if the commander is party to the complaint. In civilian workplaces, employees are protected from retaliation when they voice concerns for civil rights as outlined in Title VII legislation. Also, in civilian workplaces, employees can access a third-party in the EEOC and the court system if they don’t find justice internally with Human Resources. However, it appears that the power structures in the military jeopardize this very right for women. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, has proposed legislation that takes the adjudication process out of the hands of commanders and instead brings such cases to a military board outside the chain of command. She also reminded the senate that countries like the United Kingdom and Israel have already taken such steps to protect their service women. The military reports that 97% of its service men and women go through sexual harassment prevention training. Another 9 out of 10 state they would encourage women to report such abuse. Then why do 26,000 women face sexual assault? As with any organization which subscribes to power structures as part of its management structure, when power is abused, those at the bottom of the food chain are the ones to endure such abuse. This is not commentary on how the military should run its leadership training or functions, but it is a reflection on how the misuse of power corrupts. Whether military or civilian leadership, whether it is about abuse, assault, bullying or other corruption of power, it is leadership at the helm that sets the tone, who serves as the architect of the organizational culture. *SOURCE: CBS News...

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Micro-inequities: Little Things Mean A Lot!

Posted by on May 27, 2013 in bullying, Diversity Training

Micro-inequities: Little Things Mean A Lot! Micro-inequities: Little Things Mean A Lot! Micro-inequities: Little Things Mean A Lot! Layla, a 35 year old Latina woman (who looks ten years younger than her age) is starting her new job as senior director of her division, supervising over 20 employees. Despite her corporate dress and swank presence, when she walks to her new desk, she is interrupted along the way to “fetch coffee.” Her own secretary while kind, comments under her breath… “Guess they hire them younger and younger…” Layla recognizes that while she has her stellar MBA diploma hung proudly behind her in the office, all too often, people assume she is sitting at her boss’s desk fixing a calendar, or that she is inappropriately at the wrong seat. During her first  division meeting, the vice president congratulates her with, “Gee Layla, you are awfully impressive in a meeting…”   Layla thinks, of course she is impressive. That’s how she got the job. That’s what $100,000 of graduate school was for. Why is being impressive so noteworthy while for others it was just expected? “Micro-inequities can be like little paper cuts.”   Is this bullying? Favoritism? Racism? Sexism? Such terms don’t exactly describe Layla’s experience, though her race and gender inform the slights she receives. She is not being attacked over time or facing escalating discrimination. She isn’t in a hostile environment, and even is promoted for her work and merit. Yet these little dings and slights challenge her resolve and focus at times. Layla is experiencing what is called “micro inequities.” She endures comments and behavior that at times make her want to disengage from her job. From time to time, Layla has a wandering eye on the job board in search of an environment that is more inclusive and supportive. How can an organization be more sensitive? The Golden Rule is a good start. Make comments that you would like to receive and reflect on your own behaviors as a leader. If you have a great idea, do you want your supervisor distracted with text messaging when you talk?  As a new hire, do you want someone commenting on your age, race, clothes or appearance is a less than flattering way How would you feel if people make inappropriate assumptions about your work duties based on age, race, gender etc? Micro-inequities can be like little paper cuts on someone’s motivation. One or two might be overlooked; but even mild and non-verbal put downs over time can disengage even the best employee. Subtle put downs accumulated over time for employees can hurt staff productivity and compromise innovation. Employers and coworkers can guard against micro inequities by reflecting on comments BEFORE such remarks are made audible.  Remember, everyone doesn’t have the same sense of humor. Lastly, an authentic discussion and request for feedback can cut through misunderstandings and micro-inequities.   ORIGINALLY...

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Fall In Love With Work Again

Posted by on Feb 23, 2013 in Discrimination, Diversity Training

Fall In Love With Work Again Fall In Love With Work Again Fall In Love With Work Again   You will spend more waking hours on the job than you will with family and friends. It is no surprise that people who have stressful and toxic work environments have higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, depression and other stress related ailments. In the unsettled economy of the last five years, the workplace has at times become a tense place for employers and employees.  Discrimination and harassment cases remain at heightened levels, with close to 100,000 new complaints with the EEOC each of the last three years. Various state legislators are striving to pass healthy workplace laws to protect people from harassment/bullying who are not afforded protections under the Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964. With all of this strife, how can we get back to loving the thing we do? How do we create and maintain a healthy workplace as an individual?  Dr. Leah Hollis of Patricia Berkly LLC offers a few strategies to help you fall in love again with the job. Know the employee manual.  So often employees simply sign off on the employee manual without reading it.  Each company has a different set of policies regarding sick time, lunch, harassment, retaliation or even payroll. Know the rules of your organization and follow them. Don’t be a bad actor.  Even if you have a case of harassment, discrimination or bullying, the minute you stoop to the level of the bully or harasser you have become a “bad actor.”  The bad actor is categorized as being a ‘hot head,’ unreliable, or simply a colleague who is not behaving in a manner that the organization can support. Just because someone else is acting out, it is not an invitation to drop the “f- bomb” as well. Bad actors seldom prosper. Do your job.  The reason we are all on the job is to produce for the employer.  Excessive undocumented time off, constant mistakes, fraud, favoritism and other performance issues can be grounds for action.  If there is a group of similarly situated employees who have performance issues, and they are treated differently in response to the same infractions, there can be a legal issue for the employer.  However, doing the job well and being an excellent performer strengthens anyone’s credibility. Know the structure of your organization.  Be sure to make connections from the janitor all the way through to the vice president.  People should know you and your strengths before there is a problem.  And, you should know how to seek reliable information. Stay positive.  No one wants to work with “Negative Nelly.”  Stay positive without barking orders, acting out or demeaning people.  Again likeability across the organization is key.  Such positive energy can help you stay focused on your options and also bring you support in the midst...

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CONGRATULATIONS: Power women, Leah Hollis

Posted by on Sep 29, 2012 in bullying, cyberbullying, Discrimination, Diversity Training

CONGRATULATIONS Power Women: Leah Hollis CONGRATULATIONS Power Women: Leah Hollis CONGRATULATIONS Power Women: Leah Hollis   Feature in Mainline TODAY, OCTOBER 2012 Twenty-one of the Main Line’s most successful and influential women share their secrets to success. BY TARA BEHAN “I think you should be treated fairly at work,” says East Fallowfield Township’s Leah Hollis. “You shouldn’t be treated differently because of your gender, race or religion.” These days, that should be a given. It’s not. As founder and president of the Patricia Berkly LLC Group, Hollis has dedicated her career to preventing workplace discrimination. She’s even written books about it. Her first, Unequal Opportunity: Fired Without Cause? Filing with the EEOC, came out last year, and her second, Bully in the Ivory Tower, is due this fall. Advocacy runs in Hollis’ family. Her mom was president of the NAACP in central Pennsylvania, and both parents are civil-rights champions. Once a diversity trainer at Northeastern University, Hollis is hired by companies throughout the country to offer her expertise. She also has an online training series viewed by employees across the country. “You essentially spend more time at work than you do at home with your family on a daily basis,” she says. “So I believe that...

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YOU’RE FIRED! But wait, my life isn’t a reality TV show….

Posted by on Sep 19, 2012 in companies who offer diversity training, cultural diversity training, Discrimination, Diversity Training, diversity training consultants, sexual harassment

 YOU’RE FIRED! But wait, my life isn’t a reality TV show…. YOU’RE FIRED! But wait, my life isn’t a reality TV show…. YOU’RE FIRED! But wait, my life isn’t a reality TV show…. By Dr Leah Hollis, author of Unequal Opportunity: Fired without cause? Filing with the EEOC… Raquel had been a rising star in her company since her initial point of hire four years previous.  She had landed major clients, bonuses, and was recognized regionally and nationally for her work.  Despite the recession, Raquel’s life was laden with hard work and well deserved pay.  She had made the necessary sacrifices by delaying marriage, relocating three times, while reaping the financial rewards.  Raquel was at the height of her earning power.  Her performance record was so solid, no wonder she didn’t flinch when her boss retired. So of course, the new boss, Jacob would value her as a longstanding member of his team, even though she was passed over for his position.  Or so she thought. All teams go through the aches and pains of adjusting to a new leader.  Raquel felt the tension between Jacob and the rest of the team was no different. Everyone was adjusting to his new communication protocols, and reporting expectations.  Therefore, when Raquel walked in to her weekly meeting with him, with the Director of Human Resources present, she could only anticipate a conference about one of her direct reports.  The meeting was short… not sweet… “You’re fired….” Jacob blurted out.  “We are going in another direction. Budget cuts.” Raquel was stunned.  Clearly this was a joke. She had earned letters of commendation the last three quarters straight.  Her slack jawed pause allowed Jacob to continue… “You can have the next two hours to clean out your desk. We already cut off your internet service.  It’s 3 pm now. You should be out by 5 pm…” Raquel had nothing to say…what was this some reality show?  When will the commentator come out…? Candid Camera… You’ve been PUNKED… something?!? The HR Director did and said nothing.  Jacob got up and went to the window. “You have two hours…” Raquel’s mind was spinning.  She just built an addition on her house with a second mortgage.  Sure she could call headhunters, but she couldn’t move.  Budget cuts?  But they just hired two staff member last week… Budget cuts? *** Raquel’s story unfortunately is played out every day in this recession.  What Raquel’s manager and many other managers don’t realize is that Raquel and other jilted employees feel betrayed and start looking for ways to be heard. At this point, they have nothing to lose by pursuing a lawsuit. More than ever, employees know the federal discrimination laws, and know where to file a complaint either with the EEOC or an attorney.  Employees who are well educated or advanced in their careers are more likely to file...

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Definition of Bullying

Posted by on Apr 14, 2012 in bullying, cyberbullying, Discrimination, Diversity Training, diversity training consultants, sexual harassment

Definition of Bullying Definition of bullying Definition of bullying   Definition of Bullying in the workplace includes: harassing, belittling, insulting behavior, especially if enduring such becomes a condition of maintaining a job. What is the definition of bullying as it applies to the workplace?  The definition of bullying includes harassment, discrimination, belittling and insulting comments… constantly. The definition of bullying is similar to the definition of harassment.  However, the definition of bullying includes ALL people, regardless of race, class or gender.  The definition of bullying also relates to a pervasive behavior, often at the hands of the boss or supervisor.  The definition of bullying should be considered by leadership.  Once the definition of bullying is taken serious, then quarterly training and support for supervisors can eradicate behavior under the definition of bullying. The definition of bullying should also include the cost of bullying. The definition of bullying should be something that human resources managers along with supervisors.  The definition of bullying should be something the executives consider.  Once the definition of bullying is understood, and the effects of bullying are understood, those who understand the definition of bullying understand that it costs organizations millions of dollars to harbor a bully.  The definition of bullying can lead to health problems; the definition of bullying can create a toxic work environment.  The definition of bullying and those behaviors that comprise the definition of bullying erode an organization and undermine productivity. Those who understand the definition of bullying also understand that the effects of bullying of similar to the stress of those who are subject to sexual...

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