Advisory industry publications and social media have recently lit up with commentary regarding experiences and stories linked to vulgar language, as well as sexual harassment and assaults, happening within the financial services space and at conferences. To me, all these issues come down to respecting others.
As a result, I feel compelled to share some perspectives and advice via a three-part series. Today, I’ll begin by discussing disrespect.
First, disrespect in the form of words, actions and behaviors is a worldwide human issue. It doesn’t just exist in financial services, nor is it just a women’s issue.
In my nearly two-decade affiliation with the financial services industry, I have witnessed both women and men being disrespected. They are disrespected in different, personal ways, but it certainly does go both ways.
And, no matter which way it goes, it’s not fair and it’s never right. Yet, in my experience, the disrespect happens less than 10% of the time, and nearly all of it happens behind closed doors.
Respecting other humans has been one of the major topics written in literature, from children’s books to business books for centuries. And in that literature there is one common theme: Respect begins with you, and me, and everyone else.
True, real change begins when humans take responsibility for their own actions, words and behaviors. For respect to happen and for change to occur, we must act. Here’s where we can start:
1. If you are being disrespected — at home or work — I would encourage you to stand up and walk out. You may choose to be silent, but your actions in walking out of disrespectful situations speak volumes.