Summer jobs, sexual harassment, employmentSummer jobs and Thoughts about sexual harassment have, unfortunately, slipped into the marketplace for summer employment of young people, and, in particular, young women.

The steadily-declining WSJ  recently published an article citing “mothers’ concerns about their daughters’ experiencing sexual harassment”  when they take summer jobs.  Well, as I write this post, I need to remind the reader that I, too, am a woman – and, as such, have certainly experienced my share of “unwanted advances” – which is all that “sexual harassment” is, in actuality.  Would you like to know what I did about it?  I shrugged it off and moved on to other ideas, involvements, enterprises that were of interest, making clear that those particular ideas put forth by unwanted admirers weren’t interesting.  Was I damaged in any way by these interactions – no, not at all.  Was it a life changing experience, as these mothers seem to believe (remember that these mothers are of the “helicopter generation”)?  No, not at all – in fact, I have to dredge up those memories in order to even remember that they happened.  And, by the way, they haven’t stopped.  I stepped out of a high-level position in the university system a few years ago because of unwanted advances by my university president.  Was that a life-changing experience – yes, but in a positive way: It was time to leave the university and that afforded me the opportunity to establish our company, Change Strategists, Inc.  The rest, as they say, is history.

My point is this:  You make of life what you wish to make of it.  You can see it as harboring “constant threats” – as the mother featured in the WSJ piece seems to want her daughters to do – or you can learn to be ever-vigilant yet react with enthusiasm to the welcome opportunities that present themselves.  Which would you choose?


    1. I agree with James, In our office of men we are careful about working in threes, meaning when a female client comes in to work on a project we never leave each other alone with her, If we are working past closing time with a female client, there is always an additional employee that stays behind to “work” but it’s really to keep it from getting uncomfortable for us, our wives and our clients.

      1. A very wise policy to follow. And, your clients probably appreciate that practice, as well. Vice President Mike Pence has a similar policy that he follows: that of always having his wife present when he’s having an evening dinner or an after-hour conversation with a woman. (I’m assuming that during the day, he protects himself by having staff present.) One can’t go wrong or be wrongly interpreted – which can easily happen, for both genders – if precautionary practices are followed.

    2. You’re absolutely correct, James. Both genders receive attention that is not desired nor appreciated. I know of female CEOs, for example, who are known for “hitting” on the young men who work for them. The issue is not so much one of gender, but of who holds the power. And, regrettably, some high-level business people are better at being on the up-and-up with their power-wielding, that are others – no matter the gender.

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