258: Blended – I Said No: Managing Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

It’s episode 19 of Blended: I’m joined by another amazing panel of guests and we’re talking about sexual harassment. It’s another tough subject because the reality is, so many people, particularly women, have a story. And we need to tell those stories if we’re going to expose just how prevalent this problem is.

Today, our guests will be discussing exactly what sexual harassment means and where and when it happens; sharing their own personal experiences; reflecting on the differences between harassment and assault; and the panel will be sharing their advice for tackling the issue and creating safer workplaces.




[01.37] Introductions to our Blended panellists.

“Young adults and children need to learn about boundaries: what they mean, how to uphold them and how to resolve a conflict around them.” Christina

  • Kristy – President and Owner at Knichel Logistics
  • Carl – CEO at Carl Shawn Watkins Consulting, LLC
  • Christina – Writer
  • Charlene – Website Architect & Full-Stack Web Developer
  • Nathalie – Customer Success Manager of Enterprise Partnerships at Calm

“There’s been a clash of generational understanding and generational behaviour.”  Charlene

[06.15] The group discuss the basics around sexual harassment: what it means, where and how it can happen, the behaviors it can include and the difference between sexual harassment and sexual assault.

“It’s not about sexual desire… it’s the power that’s yielded through that harassment.” Carl

  • Mindset and intent
  • Language matters
  • Generational clash
  • Mocking or discrimination around a person’s sexuality
  • Gender stereotypes
  • Power plays
  • The danger of anonymity online
  • Blurred lines between the workplace and online/social media
  • Move from acceptable to accessible
  • Confrontation and boundaries
  • Remote working inviting harassment into your home / violating a safe space
  • (Men’s) sense of entitlement
  • Men choosing not to put themselves in a compromised position

“When you think about what predated ideas about what sexual harassment would be defined as, it also came with these predisposed character traits. “ Nathalie

[55.14] The panel share their own personal experiences of sexual harassment, and the impact of those experiences.

“It’s the translation from that Mad Men era where everything was pictured as acceptable to now where everything is accessible… now the attitude has met the opportunity.” Carl

  • Carl’s experience of child molestation by an uncle; how he used imagination, creativity and learning as a release; and the alcoholism and suicidal ideations that followed, before he translated that pain to power
  • Kristy’s experience of dropping out of college because of an attempted sexual assault, of inappropriate behavior by a client and multiple sexual advances at an industry event
  • The lasting impact of abuse and how it links to how you identify as a person
  • Nathalie’s experience of subtle and manipulative harassment in the workplace
  • Allyship and advocacy
  • The importance of documenting incidents
  • Christina’s experience of a group sexual assault as a teenager, sexual harassment in multiple workplaces and how a man, who she believed to be a good friend, offered to be her sugar daddy
  • Triggering behaviors and re-traumatisation for victims
  • Charlene’s experience of receiving unwanted messages and intimate photographs
  • Leadership obstacles

“As soon as my relationship status changed, I became a target for that sense of entitlement.” Christina

[01.29.54] The group share their suggestions for solutions and sum-up their learnings from today’s discussion.

“Know your company’s policy in the workplace, and don’t be afraid to speak.” Kristy



You can connect with Kristy, Carl, Christina, Charlene and Nathalie over on LinkedIn.

If you found this epsiode interetsing, you might enjoy Episode 3, The Gender Equation or Episode 18, The Reality of Workplace Discrimination.

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