With the roster of accused perpetrators growing longer by the day, many are wondering how to shift workplace cultures from #MeToo to #NoMore.
"As confronting as it may be, women must stand up and call out sexual harassment and assault every time it happens," says Janet Zaretsky, business success and confidence coach and author of Where'd My Confidence Go…And How Do I Get It Back?. "Women often don't speak out of the fear that they cannot handle the repercussions. To be confident about who you are—and that you can handle effectively what happens when you stand up for yourself—is critical if we, as a culture, are going to end the era where sexual harassment is the norm."
Zaretsky offers the following tips for any woman who wants to overcome self-doubt and experience real confidence and power in the face of any circumstance, including sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior:
- Acknowledge your inherent power. Take a deep breath and ask yourself, "What's the worst thing that could happen?" Then ask yourself if you could handle that. Most of the time, when you stop and think about it rationally, you realize yes, you really could.
- Stop with the apologies, already! Women tend to reflexively apologize for all kinds of things. When you do that, it undermines your influence and power.
- Stand up for others. If you see or hear someone being mistreated and don't speak up, you are, by default, condoning the behavior, and you become part of the problem.
- Give up being nice. Being deferential and staying silent isn't about having good manners; it's something that keeps the status quo—and what doesn't work—in place. When you're not being treated respectfully, speak up.
"Sexual assault and harassment are pervasive throughout our society, and if anyone has doubted how underreported they are, all they have to do is watch the news," Zaretsky adds. "Women owe it to themselves and each other to do everything they can to rediscover their confidence, stand up for themselves, and be powerful agents of change." Learn more about Zaretsky’s work and her newly-published book at thezenithbusiness.com. iBi