Women's Role in Corporate America
In the last couple of years, the #MeToo movement has taken the world by storm by evidencing a series of toxic behavior that have been displayed by men towards women in every aspect of our society. These attitudes have been normalized for many years and now they are starting to be in the center of the discussion as a way to be dismantled and be shown exactly as negative as they are. The impact has been so strong that now we are starting to pay a lot more attention to potential red flags that people have ignored or shut down in the past.
Initially, the idea began with to sole purpose to expose the testimonies of sexual harassment from women in the workplace, the school, and other environments, empowering women to break the silence and stop the abuse. We have heard countless heartbreaking stories from women denouncing their experiences with co-workers, classmates, and men in positions of power such as teachers and bosses. As consequence, many denounced abusers have paid for their actions, proving the effectivity of speaking out.
Since then, the movement has transcended into many forms of social revolution, especially contributing in the fight to achieve concrete gender equity actions in the workplace. The #MeToo movement has helped to acknowledge an evident gap of inequity between the labor rights and wages from men to women. The society as we know it is changing.
So, the question here is, where are we now?
Our Current Status, Given Today's Environment
We need to start to recognize the milestones women have won in the last decade. Social media has given a voice to women across the world to effectively create a sense of awareness about the problematics that affect women on a daily basis. Gender unity needs to be addressed as the strongest weapon women currently have, a tool that will shape the next generations of empowered women that will finally achieve a more fair society.
However, we also need to acknowledge that we have still have a long road to go: according to a poll from 2018 made in 8 countries, 23% of men admitted they believe it is acceptable to ask or expect a sexual encounter with a female co-worker. It also states that 70% of people in the highest levels of organizations believe they have a harassment-free working environment. However, when women were asked about their perception about their safety in the workplace, many of them believed they weren’t completely secure in terms of sexual harassment, from jokes of sexual nature or even casual physical contact. 60% of the surveyed people declared their companies haven’t stated an updated set of policies against sexual harassment in the workplace.
In light of these numbers, understanding this reality is the first step to make stronger efforts and more radical changes.
The good news is that we are going in the right direction: According to the same poll, approximately a 65% of women believed the #MeToo movement would help make a difference to create consciousness about their problematics.
In the age of the revolution we are currently living, the role of women resides in our ability to lead and drive actions that effectively change these negative aspects. We need more women stepping up fighting against oppression, harassment, and inequity, demanding actions that can positively impact the safety of women in the workplace. As long as we have the inspiration from our women leaders, we will keep winning the battles we struggle every day. Social transformations are not easy, but nothing worth fighting will ever be.