This story is part of Restaurant Hospitality’s ongoing series on sexual harassment in the restaurant industry.
Back in 1991, Anita Hill went before the all-male Senate Judiciary Committee to describe how then Supreme Court justice nominee Clarence Thomas had behaved inappropriately.
Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court anyway. But Hill’s testimony helped rip open the curtains on a problem that was — and still is — prevalent across all industries.
That’s why it seemed so bizarre to see the parade of predators in the headlines in recent weeks, in the technology industry, Hollywood, the federal government and in the hospitality world.
You’d think we’d know better by now.
But now there is no excuse.
Any employer out there who is not now keenly aware of what sexual harassment looks like has to be trying very hard to ignore it — and ignore it at your own peril.
It’s a complicated issue, but there are steps any employer can take to protect their workers and perhaps change their culture. In Restaurant Hospitality’s ongoing series, I hope you will find food for thought on how to do that.
What’s changed the most since Anita Hill first took the stand is that victims now feel empowered to call out sexual harassment when they see it.
Such accusations may not always make the headlines, but they will likely be something employers will need to figure out how to address going forward.
So if there’s one New Year’s resolution to make this year, let it be about how to eradicate the meathead culture that has allowed sexual harassment to fester in the restaurant world.
We know better. So now let’s do better.
Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout