Preventing sexual harassment

More than 450 members of the PCC community – administrators in the Chancellor’s cabinet, staff, faculty, and Governing Board members – took part in a recent round of training in responding to, assessing and preventing sexual harassment in our workplace.

I led the training for the cabinet, and partnered with our Human Resources staff to deliver training to our campuses and facilities. [You can view the PowerPoint presentation here.] I believe the often-lively discussions the training sparked helped clarify the issue for participants.

To put the training into a larger context, PCC is committed to maintaining a workplace and educational environment free of all forms of discrimination and harassment. Sexual harassment is a particularly virulent form of discrimination. It cannot be tolerated, and no one should be afraid to speak out.

We hope to extend the training to more supervisors and all new hires. At all levels of the College, we need to drive home these everyday truths: When your co-workers become your subordinates or your superiors, your relationship with them changes profoundly; and, ultimately, we are all responsible for each other.

The College is in the midst of a conversation about promoting respect, civility and honest communication. Change takes time. When trust has been broken, the wounds heal slowly. It is hoped that training our employees to effectively respond to and prevent sexual harassment will be a major step in an ongoing effort to improve our connections with students and co-workers.

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