How do we create a culture of speaking up?
We all play an important role in creating a culture where we feel safe and empowered to speak up about issues like harassment we see in the workplace.
All the greatest policies and procedures will fall short if we do not take the steps to live by them.
Whether you're an employee or a supervisor, you hold the power and responsibility to shape your company culture. This is why it’s not enough to label yourself as an ally. We need to model ally behavior every single day. When you embody great ally behavior, others will follow suit.
Here are some steps you can take to create a culture of speaking up:
One of the easiest and most immediate steps is to open up honest conversations with one another about the culture of the workplace. When was the last time you checked in with your colleagues? If one in three women experience harassment, chances are some of your friends will have experienced it as well. Provide a comfortable space to let them share their story with you and provide them support as needed.
You may even rally your co-workers and employer to host a meet-up or diversity panel to share a more formal discussion about issues in the workplace.
Most importantly, speak up and encourage others to speak out against inappropriate behavior in the workplace. There is strength in numbers. The more we speak up against inappropriate behaviors we witness, the more we can contribute to creating a culture where harassment is not tolerated.
Together, we hold the ultimate power to push our leaders to create a safe and inclusive workplace and hold them accountable for their actions.