Science, technology, engineering and math have long been male dominated fields, with women making up only a small fraction of the workforce. While educators and workplaces have made progress to lessen the gender divide, women in these fields still face sexual harassment at an alarming rate.
After attending a cyber security conference, Jane Frankland, managing director of Cyber Security Capital, expressed her frustration on social media about an event organizer’s using of so-called booth babes. Frankland was attacked by internet trolls and the backlash continued to spread. She decided to write a blog to explain her comments, and that is when a surprising thing happened.
The #MeToo movement has inspired many people to stand up against co-workers that have committed acts of harassment or discrimination. As a result, both businesses and the state of Maryland have been changing their policies to combat harassment and improve their work environments.
When a company has an employee that faces harassment allegations, it impacts how the public and their own workers perceive them. Without a proper HR team and little experience on handling the matter, small or nonprofit organizations can have an especially difficult time responding to and recovering from these allegations. An example of this can be found in recent allegations towards Maryland performing arts groups that was covered by the Baltimore Sun.
Maryland continues to make a stronger move toward combating sexual harassment in the workplace as Gov. Larry Hogan recently signed into law two acts - one that addresses sexual harassment matters within the state's General Assembly, and the other focused on employers with 50 or more workers.
It's another sign that the #MeToo movement continues to make waves across the country and within our culture. Both bills were signed within a week of each other.
In 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 12,680 complaints of sexual harassment, demonstrating the prevalence sexual harassment in modern workplaces. Our workplaces are not the only hosts of sexual harassment because of social media.
Despite the increase of businesses’ use of social media, courts have given little guidance as to addressing social media sexual harassment claims. It lets employers and employees to decide where the line is drawn.
A staggering number of women experience sexual harassment and assault each year. Now more than ever, though, survivors are being heard, and their offenders are receiving their due punishments. Fear and shame often prevent a victim or witness from reporting a predator, but the law protects people who speak up.
For the last few months, the #MeToo movement has gradually grown stronger within the Maryland General Assembly, a place not only known for its lawmakers, but also for its longstanding acceptance of sexual harassment among its members.
Female lawmakers, staff members and interns within the General Assembly for years have dealt with awkward, uncomfortable and abusive situations that can only be considered flat-out sexual harassment. Recently, the Maryland House of Delegates took a bolder step to protect its own and send a message to the rest of the state: sexual harassment will not be tolerated.
Although often a joyous time, pregnancy presents an array of challenges for working women. Pregnant women may need more time away from work for doctor's visits or small accommodations to continue working. Sadly, employers often view pregnant employees as a liability. Rather than making simple accommodations, employers chose to terminate the employee or force them to take unpaid leave.
If you’ve been a victim of harassment in the workplace, you may feel alone and stuck, wondering what to do. It is scary to report harassment in the workplace because a fear of the unknown and a need for the money that steady employment brings, but reporting harassment compliant with company policy will protect your rights at work and with the law.
Are You Familiar With Your Employer’s Reporting Policies?
Few female workers have the courage to move forward with a complaint about sexual harassment, but the #MeToo movement may have changed things.
At least we hope so. Since launching late last year, #MeToo – with roots in the entertainment industry – has women around the world standing in solidarity to denounce sexual harassment and assault that happened in their lives, including the workplace.