As employers strive to create diverse workforces, they need to think beyond just attracting employees from varied backgrounds. It’s just as important to think about how to retain a diverse group. Taking steps to prevent sexual harassment is one way to make sure talented and productive employees don’t flee work environments they find uncomfortable, even unlawful.
Recognizing sexual harassment is the first step. Gone are the days when a typical case involved a male boss chasing a female secretary around the office, or workers in a male-dominated workplace posting a calendar displaying risqué pictures in the breakroom. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, tasked with enforcing antiharassment law, and courts now recognize many more situations that fit the definition of sexual harassment. So employers need to take concrete steps to reduce their risk regarding subtle as well as blatant harassment.