As usual, the weekend wrapped up far too quickly, and we find ourselves this Monday all settling into a new week. New projects, meetings, goals, and challenges. As we enter another work week what is on the mind of employees and the companies who employ them? In the United States our unemployment is at a 16 year low, there are more jobs to be filled than there are qualified people to fill them and companies are scrambling to staff according to their deliverables.
With all of this opportunity, then why are so many people dreading Monday's? I find myself reflecting on the past few months where we have learned a lot about culture opportunities in some prominent Bay Area businesses. However, it still came as a shock to read that nearly one in five US workers find their workplace hostile or threatening, another 55% say they work in "unpleasant and potentially hazardous conditions according to a in-depth study of 3,066 U.S workers.
Uber has been one of the most talked about scandals, with an outpouring of recent reports bringing to light a deep-rooted culture of accepting and minimizing sexual harassment. This weekend we learned of Brandon Charles, a former SoFi employee, who was supposedly fired for reporting sexual harassment that he had observed. And the issues at 500 StartUps are a whole other ball game.
These reports outlining barriers that both professional men and women are facing in the workplace, resonate with experiences so many of my friends and colleagues can personally relate to. As I look back on my career I can remember in my 20s being pressured for dates by upper management. I was called names by the owner of a company that were so derogatory, I will not post them here. And, my favorite, was when I was told I would never have my own company because "men were better than women". Even as recent as a month ago, while at a conference I was told to "use my feminine wiles" to get something I needed or that my "beautiful eyes" could talk anyone out of money, in reference to me approaching investors. I've recently heard from a friend who was forced to resign out of fear of retaliation, because another peer witnessed her being harassed, and reported the situation. Her peer was trying to help, but the environment was so toxic she felt forced to give up her employment.
Is anyone happy? Only about 38% of employed Americans say their jobs offer advancement. Do you find these statistics discouraging or does it make you want to help your company stand out? I firmly believe that there is more to a job than salary and title. Work environment matters.
What are some of the experiences you've witnessed or heard of? And I'd love to hear accounts of any companies that responded to harassment claims in a prompt and nonbiased manner.