Not cool, bro
When you see something, do you say something? Do you push back? Do you say, “Not cool, bro?” Here are some cautionary tales we can all learn from. Plus some positive stories…
1. Confront the dude who just touched your co-worker inappropriately
As Arianna O’Dell wrote in Dear Blockchain Bros, I Won’t Let Your Sexism Poison Our Industry, a man stroked her thigh at a recent large blockchain conference.
And when she told a male friend about it just minutes later, he replied “It comes with the territory.”
No, no, no. Unwanted advances do NOT come with the territory. And men who witness it have a role to play to stop it in its tracks.
Arianna’s advice? Her friend “should’ve confronted the guy: ‘Hey, you didn’t make my friend feel great just now. You should apologize to her–and keep your hands to yourself.’”
If that’s too much to ask, a simple “Not cool, bro” is at least a start.
2. Call BS if you hear someone isn’t hiring a highly qualified person…because she’s too attractive
Life coach Tony Robbins recently shared this story of a “very powerful man” who told Robbins he’d passed over a highly qualified woman for a job because she was “very attractive” and therefore “too big a risk.” And Tony went on to say he’s got 12 other similar stories.
An ally would push back. Point out the sexism. Call the BS.
But not Tony Robbins. Did he say, “Not cool, bro?” Nope. Instead, he was complicit.
3. Say no to all-male speaking lineups
Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom this week. We can’t wait to tell you about Richard Bradshaw. Why? He’s the guy who, upon discovering the technical conference he’d agreed to speak at had all male speakers (87 of them), promptly canceled.
Now that’s saying “Not cool, bro” with some stake in the game.
Well done, Richard Bradshaw.
4. Push back on offensive jokes
When hearing offensive jokes or comments about women or underrepresented minorities, we have a choice. Call it out. Or be complicit.
And this applies even if no-one within hearing range feels personally offended by it
Looking for ways to respond? We’ve got a few:
- “That wasn’t funny, y’all.”
- “We don’t do that here.”
- “Wow, that was awkward.”
- “That’s against the Code of Conduct for our Slack group.”
- And our favorite: “I don’t get it. Can you explain the joke to me?”
(We gleaned many of these responses from Valerie Aurora at Frame Shift Consulting. Thanks, Valerie!)
5. Pay attention to pay
Last but not least, we have to point out that Equal Pay Day happened earlier this week in the US. It symbolizes how far into the year the average white American women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.
Black and Latina women have it even worse. Their equal pay days are August 20 and November 1. Jeepers.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. If you’re a manager and you see a woman being paid less than male peers, do something about it. Ditto for underrepresented minorities.
Want another reason to fix the gap? A US Federal Court ruled this week that employers can’t pay a woman less than a man doing similar work because of her salary history.
Let’s make it happen, people!
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