Ever since I signed with my current employer, there have been persistent stories about the ‘exploits’ of one of our managers. That is, he sexually harasses his female staff. Some of the co-workers who told me about it claimed to be victims themselves, but I never witnessed any of it myself. At the same time, there are just too many reports by too many women – if this is not true, it would have to be a big conspiracy indeed.
I always “hoped” that I might be a chance witness, so that I could trigger something, but no such “luck”. I did encourage the victims to report it, but as far as I know none ever did.
Last week, and purely by chance, I ran into a woman who had left the company recently. I asked her why she resigned, as overall she seemed to be okay with the job.
“Secretgeek, you remember I told you he tried to touch me a couple times?”
“Yes,” I said, dreading where this might go.
“He actually put his hands between my legs once. Nobody – none of the women anyway – will enter a car with the man. It is really terrible!”
“So why didn’t you ever complain officially?”
She shrugged. “You know what would have happened? He’d say, ‘I didn’t do this’ and that’s that.”
I had to concur. But I had to think about this a lot the past few days, and so today I sent an – anonymous – mail to our CEO, who is usually quite approachable. I didn’t name names, but made clear what the situation was, and that I realize that he can’t do much based on rumors. I suggested that he should remind all staff that such behavior is not tolerated – and include guidelines what a victim should do.
I don’t know if it’ll help. But at least I did something.