With the recent interest in sexual harassment, the #metoo movement is important and needs to be accompanied with acknowledgement of the male leaders who build healthy environments for women (and anyone) to thrive. I was so pleased when one of my husband’s colleagues sent this email to him and she agreed to allow it to be posted.
“With all of the news lately reflecting negatively on the workplace culture for women, I want you to know that you had a significantly positive impact on me.
I was new to the VP role and certainly not yet confident in it. We were on a trip for a client visit. You were a few feet behind me when you overheard two male leaders ask me something inappropriate. I was standing silent, paralyzed by what was just said and unsure how to respond. (Of course as you know, stunned-silent is a rare moment for me.) Without hesitation and without being asked, you stepped forward and made it very clear that their behavior wasn’t acceptable.
Months later, I was at a dinner when someone made an offensive comment. Again, I was unsure how to respond. You didn’t wait for me to respond. You said the language was inappropriate in front of female colleagues – and even inappropriate period.
Those two experiences helped me in many ways. It helped me find my voice in similar situations that followed. It helped me know how to break through the stunned-silent moments that can overtake a moment.
Paul, thanks for being the leader and person you are.
Whether it is called “Harassment, Mistreatment, Hazing or Pimping” it creates a hostile environment. Unfortunately, our IUSM students report mistreatment at higher levels than many other medical schools in the US and to combat this, the OFAPD has asked our faculty to attend a discussion so that we all will work together to increase awareness of learner mistreatment policies and reduce incidences of learner mistreatment on our campuses. The program: Advancing a Culture of Patient Safety: Why Learner Mistreatment Matters for All Faculty with Dr Mary Dankoski, OFAPD will be held as an interactive online seminar on Wednesday, December 13 from 12:10 – 12:50 PM.
While this seminar is focused on learners, am sure it will be applicable in other situations.
I am proud that I am married to a man who recognized harassment and called it out on the spot. He believes in the ability of the individual to work to the top of their level of expertise and encourages others to be successful.
When I asked him about the above incident, he vaguely recalls the episodes which is even better. He recognized an inappropriate comment and dealt it with on the spot. It made a difference, not only in Stacey’s life but also to the people who had a made the comments. They had immediate feedback and hopefully learned that any form of harassment would not be tolerated.
May we all work to emulate this type of attitude and I am thankful for the people in my life who have stood up for me and have supported my career. Yes Paul, this means you as well!
For more about the #metoo movement go to https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2017/10/18/me-too-movement-origins/776963001/
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.