Finding the Words to Speak out on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Every ambitious woman I know has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. So when I read Amber Tamblyn’s piece in the New York Times about her experiences with sexual harassment in the film industry, it was like looking into a mirror of human experience. I wrote an op-ed for CNN about my own experiences and how many women internalize not being believed by those in a position of power to make a difference.

In my piece, I said:

“Tamblyn wrote, "Every day, women across the country consider the risks."

And I wonder, should I be considering these risks, or should the people who condone, cover up, turn the other way, and dismiss women start considering the risks? Should they start considering what their inaction says about them? Should they start to realize the great risk they're taking; of losing their reputation, credibility and respect?”

Since the piece has been published, I have had family members contact me about their own experiences and I’ve had leading c-suite executives thank me for writing me piece, and let me know how they’ve been working to root out this problem at their own workplaces.

While the prevalence of sexual harassment is still a problem, it has been encouraging to see that we’ve reached a cultural tipping point: women are using their words and speaking out. Putting words to the problem and naming how and who can make a difference is the first step to solving this systemic issue, and I am thankful that there are so many willing to fight this with me.

Read the piece in full here


Michelle Threadgould | Sep 2017