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  • Writer's pictureAnn Willets

Who Do You Think You Are?

Over the years, I’ve fielded comments from male executives that should have remained unspoken. I’ve also been in situations in professional environments that made my skin crawl. For a long time, I knew deep down that my bosses usually expected me to plaster a smile on my face and accept such crude, shocking, and vile behavior. I can’t say that I ever let sexual harassment roll off my shoulders.

It pains me to say that in 2021, sexual harassment persists in the workplace. Sadly, many young professionals entering the industry are not equipped to deal with it. Sometimes, they don't deal with it because they're afraid and don't want to jeopardize their position.

As a recruiter, I’ve received recounts of sexual harassment or verbal abuse in the workplace from candidates who return from interviews horror-stricken and distraught. The only upside is that the candidate received a window into the organization’s twisted culture, while I learned not to bring candidates to that firm again.

I blacklist firms whose managers harass candidates or exhibit unsavory behavior in front of them. No person should be subject to degradation, especially not in the workplace. These firms also betray my reputation when they do this. As a recruiter, I put the candidate in front of that manager.

My question is: At what point do we as women stop letting executives - or anyone who commits sexual harassment - get away with this behavior and call them out on it to their faces? I know that I only speak for my policies in saying this, but if you're my candidate and experience harassment or beratement during an interview and feel inclined to call out the individual while you're sitting in front of them, do it. I'll find a new role for you and gladly fire the client.

I think it's time we let our voices be heard loud and clear. We must continue to pave the way for a better future for those that will inherit our professions. I'm one recruiter that will stand behind candidates and professionals that choose to stand up against such treatment. I hope that I'm in good company because it's high time for greater change.

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