I Didn’t Complain to HR
Donna Harris

Unfortunately true.

What my experience in the tech industry in various positions and industry segments tells me, is that you will experience different behavior depending where you are. I’ve seen quite some difference of this sort of behavior in different geographies. Just to be precise, this is less or more of it, not yes or no at all.

Let me be a bit provocative here. The nurturing or racism is provided by the environment you are in, which is also carried by the societies established norms the environment is in. As for example I’ve seen in Europe, Asia and the US large differences in what is tolerated or even supported by the people making-up groups, teams and organizations.

I perceive the actions or even crimes you described as racism, as they are not only performed discriminating females, but seem to be tolerated or even supported by the groups, organizations, companies, societies, which leads to something bigger than “just” one person being affected by a violation. If a group (males) is behaving in such a way, to believe that they are superior (to females), and can therefore disregard their rights, it looks and feels like racism to me. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism

If one makes ones life miserable, but as a society or company we have the rules and laws to counter such behavior, we must find ways to report without the fear to be incriminated or retaliated for doing so, and establish enough governance to investigate and execute measures of corrective actions.

What puzzled me, is that many organizations seem to have no “standard of business conduct” including some fundamental ethics they write down and also execute when violated.

If HR and management would swiftly take actions against the offenders and make it visible, would that help to educate other potential offenders?If we believe that speaking-up does not change the system, we dig ourselves deeper into believing that we are powerless and have to endure this. And there is the definitive NO. There are too many things we as individual can’t change alone. But if we have one chance to change, show courage, work together, we can impact others. Like with what you wrote impacts others to make the step and start changing the way they think about reporting such cruelties.

Just a though it had when reading through your article, was a quote by Nelson Mandela:

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

If we consider this, it is the responsibility of all of us! Change, by educating acceptable behavior and social interaction, by being example to others, helping the ones who need us, as we learn and trust more when we see “it” being done.

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