By Renae Sanders
As women, laid-off in the wake of the greatest economic crisis since the 1930s, forge a path toward their “new normal”, an increasing number are experiencing a phenomenon often only heard about in large corporations – sexual harassment. The twist; It’s not an employer-employee dynamic, rather B2B.
The small business arena is a new to many new women business owners, but the challenges facing women as they seek to demonstrate their skills as business leaders and express creativity through business interactions are dealing with double entendres, outright propositions, from men who often suggest “if you showed a little more, your business could be more successful”.
Women have gained the experience, education, and resources necessary to lead organizations, large and small. However, having to contend with sexual overtures while conducting business is, at best, a waste of precious time; at worse, it is a continuation of major workplace problem -the objectification of women.
Most business people expect a certain amount of decorum when working across gender and seek to separate business and pleasure. Research and an internet search on “small business and sexual harassment” indicate the lack of structure in small businesses, the lack of policy or HR professionals on staff, make this space ripe for increased infractions and scrutiny.
Does your small business have a policy against sexual harassment? Have you experienced B2B innuendo or sexual overtures during business interactions?
Renae Sanders is the Managing Director at KRS Consulting, LLC, a management consulting firm specializing in organizational relationships. Believing people are the link between strategy and success, Renae works with organizations, leaders, and managers to strengthen internal relationships. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.