Making everything OK again

Sep 07 | 2023

A follow-up article about sexual intimidation at industry conferences, by Steve Jordan.

The intimidation of women is not OK I wanted to give you a brief follow-up on my article about intimidation at conferences in our July 2023 issue: No! That’s not OK. Thanks to everyone who responded.  I received the biggest reaction, from a single story, I have had in a 30-year publishing career.  That, I believe, shows that there is a desire to do something about it amongst many in the industry.

Many of you have already seen some social media comments.  I didn’t have anyone contact me to disagree.  Then again, I suppose I wouldn’t.  It’s just that those who do, probably wouldn’t want to admit it and, those who are guilty of bad behaviour either want to keep their heads down or think there’s nothing wrong anyway. 

Most people just said thanks for publishing the story.  It seems it has come as a relief to many that, at last, this subject is being aired in public rather than in private groups. Others related their own tales of distress.  One woman talked of appalling treatment at work.  She’s in operations and puts up with constant sexual abuse from drivers.  Her boss won’t do anything because drivers are hard to find and make him too much money.  I understand the problem but, really … have we sunk that low?

Some people pointed out, as indeed did I in the story, that the problem is not just one of men intimidating women.  It works both ways. Neither is acceptable in my opinion.

In truth I have been rather buoyed by the reaction.  I have been particularly pleased with the reaction from most of the trade associations who seem willing to play their part.  FIDI, for example, within a heartbeat of the article being published, recorded a video explaining the Association’s position. 

Men have also been fast to react.  As before I don’t want to name individuals but one man pointed out that we all know when a line has been crossed between being friendly and something more intimate. He encouraged people to call out bad behaviour when they see it, so that a pattern can be established, rather than just an isolated indiscretion. Whenever a relationship goes beyond the purely professional, as he says, “Consent is the key” ...

Click here to read the full story in The Mover magazine.

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