business acumen

Feb 6, 2018

Will We Finally Have a Year of the Woman?

With all of the recent sexual harassment scandals coming to the fore, might 2018 be “the year of the woman” – so, they may finally establish an equal footing with men in the workplace?

Year of the Woman? Maybe. From big league entertainment personalities like O’Reilly, Lauer and Hoffman to Hollywood moguls and politicians like Weinstein, Franken and Roy Moore, purported sexual misconduct grabbed the headlines through much of last year.

Besides establishing a scandalous cloud that appears to stretch from coast-to-coast, these stories shined the brightest of spotlights on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. It made many wonder if we might well be on the cusp of fundamental change in the way men and women interact with one another at work. If so, 2018 may be the Year of the Woman.

But, much must change before that can happen. Here are some thoughts about what we have to do as leaders to end sexual harassment in the workplace:

Shift the Power Dynamics: Position power sits as a root cause of much of the sexual harassment that we have been reading and hearing about of late. An intern is harassed by her boss, an aspiring actress by a movie producer etc.

A person that is inclined to harass a subordinate because of their position power (i.e., sleep with me, and you’ll get the job) goes away in flatter, team-based workplaces because the power structures are less prominent and hiring and promotion decisions are spread across a team of people, rather than a single, all powerful decision-maker.

Engage Men in the Process of Change: This may be easier said than done, but, I’m hopeful! I think that there are enough men, like myself, who find these stories of the mistreatment of women repulsive and are willing to do whatever it takes to stop it. Of course, the real work is in identifying and instituting the steps needed to design a culture where harassment is no longer stomached.

Create Tougher Policies: Clearly, we can’t expect stiffer workplace policies to provide the entire solution to our sexual harassment problems. However, they can be an important foundation for instating the cultural changes that need to be made. And these policies have to cut both ways. There must be consequences for both perpetrators and those that falsely accuse.

Provide Better Training: There’s a difference between overhearing an off-color joke and the commission of an unwanted sexual advance. Helping people to understand what constitutes sexual harassment and teaching them techniques for managing those situations (and escalating them, as well), if they should emerge in the workplace can help establish a safer, more agreeable workplace.

Stop Tolerating It. Leadership is not about what you say; it’s about what you tolerate. If you tolerate harassment, of any kind, in the workplace then you probably have a company culture that unwittingly promotes sexual harassment. I’ve seen clients that refuse to discipline, and or, terminate repeat offenders because they believed that the perpetrators were so talented in what they did that they couldn’t be replaced. If that’s how you operate as a leader, you’ll eventually get what’s coming to you.

Are We In The Year of the Woman?

To close, I’m not sure that 2018 will be the Year of the Women. I hope so. But, it seems to me that some men harass women because they’re the type of person that seeks to take advantage of others whenever they can. I’m not sure that this will change much regardless of the coverage that the topic in the media. That said, I do think that there are some things that we can do to make our places of employment better places to work. I hope that these ideas will help you make your workplace better. Reach out if you’d like more information about how I can help you to create a company culture that everyone can respect and celebrate.

Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you’ll never miss a post.

NOTE: Originally published by Inc. on January 2, 2018

My Favorite Website Lately:

Jun 1, 2015

The Business Case for Building a Cross-Cultural Workforce

This popular article is on Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace:

The Business Case for Building a Cross-Cultural Workforcefaces

Be sure to share and share alike!


Nov 15, 2014

New Book Trailer Up on YouTube

Please checkout my latest video on The Executive Checklist: youtube

New Book Trailer Up on YouTube

Share it so that everyone gets the chance to read the book!


Nov 7, 2014

Personalities Do Get In The Way!

Read my latest article in Management Issues.  It’s about how:

Personalities Do Get In The Way!rams

Be sure to share…

It makes you a better person.


Oct 21, 2014

Executive Presence: Are You Born With It?

New CEO.COM article is out.  It is entitled:ceologo

Executive Presence: Are You Born With It?

It’s intended to be a primer for those who want to develop more presence.

Enjoy and share!

Oct 17, 2014

Partner In Success Radio Interview

Listen to my Partner In Success Radio Interview – With host Denise Griffitts.

We talk about the book, cover some of the interesting case studies in it and describe some of the challenges that lie ahead for businesses today.

Check it out here

And, as always, pass it around.  Thanks!

Sep 29, 2014

Forbes on The Executive Checklist

Forbes contributor Roger Trapp provided a terrific review of the book.

“To be successful in this extremely complex and unstable business environment, executive leaders must do all that they can to simplify. Therefore, checklists are in order,” he asserts.forbes

Check it out here:

Forbes on The Executive Checklist

If you like it, please pass it on!





Sep 15, 2014

How to Accelerate Your Business Interview

Here’s my latest interview with host Diane Helbig of Accelerate Your Business Radio:Seize

How to Accelerate Your Business Interview

Learn about how Ikea, EA and Home Depot fit into The Executive Checklist

Aug 25, 2014

The keys to strategic differentiation – Becoming “Of Choice”

The keys to strategic differentiation – Becoming “Of Choice” is the subject of my latest piece in Management Issues Magazine.  Check it out here:

The keys to strategic differentiation – Management Issues keys

Please be sure to share, follow and RT!

Thanks for reading…

Aug 18, 2014

The Breakthrough Radio Interview (Part 2)

The Breakthrough Radio Interview (Part 2) – Host Michele Price drives this hour long interview.  We present it here in two parts.  Here is Part 2:

Part 2

Check it out and be sure to pass it on…Please RT, Like and Follow.

Copyright 2019 James M. Kerr       info@executive‑       860‑301‑2085