The end of 2017 brought many new, pressing issues to light ,Hollywood has been rocked by allegations of sexual assault against film mogul Harvey Weinstein of the Miramax entertainment company. To give you a bit of a background these allegations first came to light in a New York Times article on Thursday October 5th ; after the release of this article many more women have since come forward with allegations, there is currently over 50 sexual assault allegations against Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow. Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan, Claire Forlani, Cara Delevingne and Lupita Nyong’o are only a small number of hollywood stars who went public with their allegations.
Many male and female celebrities became quickly outraged with these events, and have began showing their support to all women who have experienced sexual assault, harassment or inequality in the workplace through a newly established movement called Times Up. The movement is run by empowered celebrity women and is a unified call for change in the workplace; from those who work in agriculture or boardrooms to those who work in the entertainment business. They envision a safe and equal workplace as nobody should feel threatened to go to work. They have joint up with leading advocates that fight for equality so that wrongdoers will be held accountable and many more females will have access to the legal system!
These latest events have definitely shed light on the inequality women face in the workplace; 1 in 3 women ages 18 to 34 have been sexually harassed at work, 71% of those women said they did not report it. Sexual harassment is pervasive across industries, but especially in low-wage service jobs; For example, more than 25% of sexual harassment charges filed with the EEOC in the last decade came from industries with service-sector workers. Research has shown that women in male-dominated occupations,especially those in male-dominated work contexts, are sexually harassed more than women in balanced or in female-dominated ones. Nearly 50% of men think women are well-represented in leadership in companies where only one in ten senior leaders is a woman. Only about half of the world’s working-age women participate in the labor force, compared to around three-quarters of their male counterparts. Closing that gap could add an estimated $12 trillion in global GDP by 2025.
I feel like we are definitely oblivious to some important issues like harassment in the workplace and only get alerted when scandals like this pop-up in the media and receive lots of coverage however this coverage slowly dies down. We need to work in consensus to raise awareness about these issues whether there has been a recent celeb scandal or not. I am going to share an extract from a poem written by Martin Niemoller during the Holocaust:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
We can definitely learn from this poem that even though something may not affect you now it may affect you in the future, and if you expect support from others you have to show your support first. Just like lots of little penny coins make a pound or dollar all of our little voices create one big united voice that can fight against sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. Have trust in your voice because ‘if you give up that your voice can make a difference then other voices will fill the void.’ –Barack Obama