retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Wall Street Journal has a really good story about how, “across corner offices and executive suites, CEOs are confronting the prevalence of sexual misconduct in the workplace after a barrage of allegations against dozens of powerful men. Some CEOs say the many personal stories of women, and some men, describing disrespect, intimidation and even assault at work have reawakened them to the lopsided power dynamics of their own workplace relationships and the outsize influence of their words and actions on employees.”

What this means is that “many corporate leaders are re-examining how they engage with colleagues and staff. In some instances, they are taking more precautions with physical contact or closed-door meetings. In others, they are more forcefully calling out questionable behavior when they see it.”

The story notes that “some CEOs worry that anxiety could prompt men to pull back too much, reducing women’s influence and even compromising business should diversity erode,” and that some executives worry about an “extreme paranoia” that may be infecting the workplace.

It seems to me that the re-examination that is taking place in corporate suites also has to take place in every workplace, with every manager thinking about the implications of their words and actions. The waves of stories about abusive, exploitive men are not going to end anytime soon, and, as I’ve suggested here before, eventually are going to be about offenses taking place in every industry.

Many of the headlines to this point have focused on high-profile people in the arts and the media, largely because they are high-profile people. But that’s the low-hanging fruit, and every business leader has to work under the premise that their company could be in the headlines next.

Read the Journal story. Think about how it applies to your business and your role in it. Because it is an Eye-Opener.
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