Leadership Courage is Gender-Neutral When Eradicating Harassment in Business and at Work


NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly spoke at her alma mater Albany Law School this past week, telling an Albany Law School audience that the sexual harassment Kelly and other women suffered at Fox News could have been avoided if more women were in positions of power at the network.

Kelly’s statement is admirable and completely worthy of support (speaking as a woman leader myself – when the gender balance of an organization’s leadership team reflects the diversity of the local economy at large, it certainly increases the odds); however, as an HR practitioner who has prevented and remediated workplace harassment for more than 25 years, from my perspective, it’s an incomplete picture. It’s not the sole job of women leaders to educate their male peers and stand up for their women employees to prevent / stop harassment.

The leadership courage and values center required of executives to effectively prevent and intervene on workplace harassment is gender-neutral. Leaders of both genders must equally have the true grit and personal accountability to courageously confront and eradicate workplace harassment on any basis. There’s nothing more powerful than a united executive front, regardless of gender, resoundingly and consistently demonstrating that harassment has no place in their organization’s culture. And there’s nothing more satisfying than being part of a leadership team with that type of courage and integrity.

How does your leadership team (regardless of their gender) demonstrate the courage to completely eradicate harassment in your organization, in business and at work?

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