Well this is most likely one of the strangest posts I ever had to write. Though I think this is surely relevant given some of the residual legal nonsense that has occurred while in two of the former labs I was in.
Sexual discrimination and harassment is a major concern in the Unites States, and across the globe. The rise for many of these issues relates to the fact that there are an increasing number of those who are women, or of non-white ethnicity, or who are members of the LGBTQ community in the workplace. This means that there are an increasing number of underlying sensitivities that are brought to the table that others may not be aware of. Discrimination and harassment in any form should never be tolerated; sexual or otherwise. In certain cases the discrimination is pretty clear, such as positions for sexual favors. However many times discrimination can occur in ways that are too subtle for the other party to comprehend.
The best way to handle these more subtle situations, is to first report it, and have a discussion with the appropriate groups. From my experience, if you are clear and direct about the issue(s), then probably the issue(s) can be taken care of before a bigger concern develops. Who knows, the other party may be sympathetic for not knowing they made an offense. At my group I make sure everyone is properly trained, or made aware of situations that could get them into trouble. I even test candidates during the interview process before I have them onboard.
“I want serious candidates who want to learn on my team. Yes we all know employees date or sometimes get marries. From what I remember in academics, there are a number of husband and wife teams. Thats not the issue here. The issue is unwanted aggression. This is core of the issue.” — Pres of the Institute.
However, no one is perfect, and no one knows all the new rules and regulations surrounding this issue. So I decided to participate in a refresher course hosted by Wiggin and Dana. I certainly learned many important factors.
Most important take way….. Sexual discrimination happens, yet works both ways. Yes, it is just as easy for a man to make a women feel uncomfortable, as it is a woman to make a man feel uncomfortable. We are getting close to the 2020s… we all have to learn respect each other’s privacy and space in the work place. The thing everyone has to learn, is no one gets a special privilege because of their gender or race, or sexual orientation. That’s not how generating a happy and healthy workforce happens. Everyone has to change their standards, and be empathetic, so as to ensure the team works together effectively.
While I still have two incidents pending at a former employer with members of the other party making advances towards me. Specifically an across the table grope, and another with a person privates pushed in my face. I will surely post on that later, as the title 9 office has not retuned my Friday phone call. Moving forwards as best I can, I assure you that in my own group, and by extension anyone in my group working with new colleagues, respects the other party equally!
Remember you are part of my group because you have a cause you care about and want to implement. My motto is, go and get it. Achieve your dream(s). You only live once. I can certainly empower my team, yet not if you think this a joke, nor if you want to play games.
So thank you for listening.
Together we an make a difference
Brian D. Adams
— Pres. of the Brain Institute of America