Sexual harassment resurfaces every few years as society struggles to create and maintain inclusive productive workplaces. Fifty years ago, harassment was just the way the world worked. That changed a little after the women’s rights movement of the 60’s and 70’s. Then the problem arose into the national consciousness again in the 1990’s with the accusations of sexual harassment against then Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas. Politicians, activists, and the public discussed what harassment was and how to confront it, drafting anti-sexual harassment policies for workplaces and institutions. And so we thought that problem was solved.
Fast forward to 2017. Two newspaper articles exposing a rampant, decades-long pattern of harassment and abuse by movie producer Harvey Weinstein opened the flood gates, sparking the “#MeToo” movement. As more women and men felt they could share their stories, nearly every industry has been hit with sexual harassment scandals. Many people were surprised at how pervasive it is. But it shouldn’t be surprising considering how many people are victims or witnesses. There is always the need to properly train employees to act appropriately on sexual harassment scenarios.
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