I recently received and email from a colleague in the U.K.
What she had to say has universal appeal. Appeal may be the wrong word; it is universal in its disappointing frustration.
In 2011 I responded to an article by” Marlo Thomas in The Huffington Post about Men Behaving Badly”.
Sadly change is slow. Here is the essence of what I am asked to answer: Several women who went on job interviews were “hit upon” by the interviewing men with irrelevant and seductive comments such as, “My wife and I live in different cities,” and “There is nothing wrong with enjoying each other’s company,” and “I could help you get this job if you are nice to me.”
The big question for me is not so much what these men say as what a GUTSY woman would respond. Now, keep in mind, my colleague said these women really need to work and it is not so easy to get a job.
“One way is to be passive, smile, and ignore the statements. Another is to flirt and be coy. And then there is the GUTSY way.”
My suggestion is to simply ask the following powerful accountability question: “What do you want as an outcome to your remarks?” THEN, you just wait and listen. No response till the gentleman has an opportunity to answer.
This is often a turning point question. It’s like ice water on a person who is about to, or has, lost consciousness. Some of the men will literally “wake up” and respond with an apology and the both of you are now on equal footing and the interview can proceed or you will know to get out of there fast and furious.
Better to eat beans from a can or grab a peanut butter and jelly sandwich than work with a Neanderthal who cannot wake up to the world of the GUTSY women of 2013.