Mention the word “harassment” in most workplaces — and you’ll get sent straight to HR. It’s a word so loaded up with connotations of investigations, courts, and people getting fired — that people become paralyzed by it.
To move beyond that connotation, we’ve started exploring “the spectrum of disrespect” in workplaces. In the pink portion of the spectrum, you’ll see behaviors that are classically associated with harassment — sexual innuendos, touching, sexual favors, and assault.
But leading up to that is a lot of different behaviors that while single handedly may not constitute harassment, they can add up to what is called a “hostile work environment.”
No matter what you call them, they aren’t OK. And when we have a workplace that allows for any forms of disrespect, it creates an environment that allows more severe forms of disrespect and harassment to proliferate.
Have you ever experienced any of these behaviors? Has anyone in your workplace ever stood up for you?
If so, tell us your story anonymously. We’ll publish it on our site and map it so that others can know they are not alone.