How to avoid advances from men?
By Imfwama Wotela
We spend three quarters or more of our time at work, and in todayís world, more and more women are pursuing long careers and climbing the corporate ladder. They are meeting various challenges as they break down these barriers.
Since we work with a lot of men, it is natural
that we will be attracted to each other and
might be tempted to engage in office
romance. But in most cases, office romance
is just a poor choice and we will discuss here
how it can become a barrier for women.
Let us take a
an example here that I am sure many of you will identify with. Susan, a young woman in her early 20ís, attends an interview at the prestigious Acme Corporation for the position of EA to the Director, John. The Director
looks at her,
finds her very attractive, and hires
her. He is known for pursuing anyone in a skirt. He is a married man in his fifties with four grown children. Susan gets the job. She reports for work Monday morning at 0800 hours. After all the preliminaries, she starts to work at her desk. John asks her to join him for lunch. She politely declines as she sees it as what it is Öan advance! Do you think he will give up easily? I donít think so. He will keep pursuing her until he gets what he wants. Once he does, will Susan remain happy working for him? What about her
relationship with her boyfriend? Will she keep her job and integrity? What if he fires her? Then what? Advances are more common from a superior to a lower-level employee.
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||Despite all the progress that women have made, many
men still tend not to take women as equal to them in the workplace. In many countries, women are hired solely for their lower
wages or because they are attractive. So if women easily succumb to such treatment from their male superiors, men will always continue to mistreat them. This will in turn cause barriers at all levels for women.
Not all women are as stupid as men think they are. That is why women should start thinking seriously about this issue of advances at places of work. Advances by men at work are very common and this is the number one barrier we will discuss and how to handle it.
A woman needs to know:
- Who she is and what she wants in life
- Respect herself and keep her pants
(or skirt) on
- Set goals and live up to them
For us women, itís always nice when a man approaches us and shows interest in us, but it is a nightmare when they haunt you after you have said Ďnoí and they try to make your life miserable.
What can you do keep romance out of the workplace?
- When you start a job make it clear who you are and what you want and donít want. Itís the easiest way to create an image of yours. First impressions always last longer. Donít hide or pretend.
- When men do make advances ask them what they want. Is it a just
friendship, an affair, or what?
Learn to draw the line. Itís very important to know where any relationship is going. Both of you need to agree to the terms so you know if you want to jump on or not. You are a human being not an animal. You have feelings and emotions, so donít waste your time in worthless relationships. Time lost is never redeemed.
- If you are married and love you husband and do not want to destroy your home, make it clear.
Put a picture of your husband on your desk and talk about him too. and yeah, wear your
wedding ring. Marriage is honorable; keep it that way.
- If you are a religious person and do not want to compromise on your beliefs, let them know. Invite them to visit your place of worship. Live up to your beliefs and donít be a hypocrite. Remember they are watching you. They will respect you for honesty and sincerity.
Respect is earned and not bought.
- Be serious with your life and learn to be sincere with yourself. If your boss insists on an affair with you, tell him in a very mature way that you do not intend to indulge in office romance. As both of you are adults, that should not be too hard to do.
- Never be desperate for a job to a point when you have to give in to advances. Do not do it for convenience either.
- If you have full evidence and it is disturbing your peace, then report it to the proper authority or organization that deals with
workplace harassment and violence against women. Be sure that you
do not encourage these advances or give the wrong impressions or wait until itís too late to take any action. In cases where you succumb to them and later get dumped or fired, and only then do you report, would be unwise.
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