I AM DISGUSTED AND OUTRAGED!! That’s quite an opening line for this post but I have to express my incredible disappointment with the Chicago Blackhawk organization with the way they botched a sexual harassment/assault allegation in 2010. For those of you who know me, you know I have been a passionate Hawks fan (bordering on obsessed sometimes), following in the footsteps of my dad who has been a die-hard fan since he was a young boy. It sickens me that the team that we love so much did not live up to their responsibility of protecting a young player from a sexual predator disguised as a video coach. The excuse? They were on the cusp of winning the Stanley Cup and they didn’t want anything to detract from that. Of course winning the Cup is any hockey team’s #1 goal, I get that but what about the well-being of that young player? Doesn’t he count for anything or is winning a title more important than someone’s mental and physical health? It appears the latter is more important. They could have easily dealt with this creep and still won the Cup. And not just in sports – it’s happening with a local radio station as well. Many female employees at WTMX, The Mix, complained continuously FOR YEARS about the morning show host’s intolerable behavior but nothing was done because he brought in the money for the station. Another example of how money ranks over the health and wellbeing who work for these organizations. PITIFUL. Please join me in spreading the message that SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND SEXUAL ASSAULT ARE NOT OK!! THIS BEHAVIOR HAS GOT TO STOP!! Please be a voice for the voiceless. Speak up, be strong and advocate for a harassment-free workplace.
In trying to come to grips in my mind the sexual assault scandal in the Chicago Blackhawks organization, I started thinking about what good could possibly come from this? There has got to be a lesson here somewhere. There has got to be a silver lining. Something good has to come from this. I’d like to applaud Kyle Beach for coming forward and identifying himself as the “John Doe” in the lawsuit. That takes guts. He needs to be recognized for doing something that the Blackhawks organization was unwilling and too chicken to do – stand up to sexual harassment and sexual assault. So now it’s our turn to do that. How can we stand up for others who are enduring the same heinous treatment? One way is to be educated. Make sexual harassment training mandatory in your workplace. (Actually in Illinois, it is mandated but how many Illinois businesses have actually followed through?) Have an open conversation about the types of harassment; the emotional, psychological and sociological implications; and what do to stop it. Please don’t turn a deaf ear or say that this kind of behavior would never happen in my workplace. Please don’t trivialize Kyle Beach’s experience by ignoring the problem. The damage to the Blackhawk’s reputation is substantial and its going to take years for that reputation to recover. Don’t let this happen to your company. Invest in sexual harassment training now – it could be the difference between success and failure for your business.
Alexandra Glumac is the founder of Glumac Consulting Group whose purpose is to strategically support your business’s mission, vision and bottom line through the coordination and facilitation of customized, quality and seamless HR services.