As women (and in some cases men), the majority of us have been there — the unwanted sexual advances, texts, calls, touches, and jokes in the workplace. I have listed my do’s and don’ts for men and women in the workplace. I’ve added a bit of humor to help the advice go down a little easier. In my opinion, “What would my Southern Mama think?” is the best tool to combat sexual harassment in the workplace!
1) Don’t make sexually explicit remarks or jokes at work or at work events. Actually, you may not want to make these remarks at all. Always use the Southern Mama test; what would my Mama think if she heard me talk like this? Works like a charm every time. In fact, the mere visual of your Mama should kill the urge right away!
2) Please keep your hands to yourself. Hugs are not a good idea in a workplace setting period. And good lord, keep your hands in your lap, not mine. Touching women in any way that may get you slapped is not a good idea at work or any other time. Again, maybe you should stop and remind yourself that this woman is not your girlfriend or wife so maybe it would be best if I treated her like my sweet, southern grandma. Would you really play grab ass with your 85 year old grandmother? Lord I hope not. If so, sugar, you got problems this article can’t help you with and you should seek therapy right away.
3) The workplace is not your personal pickup joint or dating site. It would be wise to keep your dating life outside of the workplace to be safe. Do not text or email co-workers for dates or hookups. Sending pictures of what the good lord blessed you with is not a smart career move or appropriate EVER in the workplace. Again “What would Mama think?” is a great guideline to use! Would she really want you sharing the family jewels with your coworkers? I think not.
4) Do not call coworkers in the late evening looking for some sweet nothings. If it is work related and an emergency, then keep it to work matters and short. If possible, save it for work hours. IMPORTANT: do not ask anyone what they are wearing if you do call to discuss work related subjects. What I am wearing has nothing to do with my work. Do you ask your Mama what she is wearing when you do your weekly check in calls? I hope not.
5) Do consult your employer’s sexual harassment policy and reporting procedures. Ask questions if your company does not have a policy in place. A good rule would be to always ask, “Would I do, say or act this way in front of my Mama or Grandma?” If the answer is NO, then pause, stop and rethink your actions.