Kate McGuinessABOUT KATE McGUINNESS
After leaving the corporate world, Kate was determined to master writing and riding, pastimes that often led to confusion in the telling. Her studies of creative writing proved to be more successful than her horseback adventures which included a broken leg! However, her love of horses remains.
Kate also took the opportunity to be more fully involved with her son's life - too involved, he would say. She enjoyed watching scores of soccer games and cheering his team on to a divisional state championship. All grown up now, her son lives in Eastern Europe and teaches English as a second language.
In addition to Terminal Ambition, Kate writes on women's issues for a number of online sites. Her essays have appeared in Role/Reboot, Jezebel, Fem2pt0, Women's Media Center and Ms. JD. You can follow her on Twitter @womnsrightswrtr.
Kate lives in a utopian community in the Midwest with her husband, dogs and innumerable squirrels.
To learn more about Kate, visit her website: www.womensrightswriter.com
You can also find out more about Terminal Ambition at http://www.terminal-ambition.com
To purchase a paperback from Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Terminal-Ambition-Maggie-Mahoney-Novel/dp/0984990178/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347151007&sr=8-1&keywords=Terminal+Ambition
To purchase a Kindle copy from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Terminal-Ambition-Maggie-Mahoney-ebook/dp/B00819BHW2/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1347151007&sr=8-1
When Bullying Is Sexual Harassment
Bullying in the office can take many forms. No one would be surprised to bullies do things like make cutting comments, take credit for someone else's work or nit-pick. But if you've been sexually harassed at work, you've been bullied.
Sexual harassment is "unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment." Sexual harassment can be distinguished from run-of-the-mill bullying because the conduct has a "sexual nature."
Examples include sexual jokes, observations about your body or clothes, sexual e-mails, groping you or otherwise touching you inappropriately, and looking up and down your body. For more examples, see my Pinterest board on sexual harassment. http://pinterest.com/womnsrightswrtr/sexual-harassment/
The definition and the examples come from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If you're experiencing this sort of treatment, you have legal remedies.
But calling in the feds may not be good for your career - assuming you want to stay. Even reporting the harasser to Human Relations may lead to unwanted consequences. You'll be identified as a "rat" and the harasser won't want to work with you again. That may sound like a blessing unless he holds a key position at your company. Retaliating against you for being a whistleblower is against the law, too, but there may be ways to chill him out without involving third parties.
Here are four other responses that may defuse the conflict and preserve your career at your company.
First, you can use humor to deflect the harasser's interest and to underscore the possible consequences of his actions. Here are three examples. Choose a comeback suited to your style and the situation:
"Come on. You don't want to be that guy."
"I'll put that in my Title VII file as humor . . . unless you intended something else."
You can flip open your cell phone and say, "It's Clarence Thomas calling. He wants to know how you plan to get away with this."
Second, starting with the first episode of harassment, you should create a detailed written account of what he said, what he did, and how you felt. For example, did you feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, or threatened?
Third, if the humorous attempt doesn't deter the harasser, you should schedule an appointment to meet with him about a "serious problem" you're having. If you get together over lunch in a restaurant, that gives you the advantage of a neutral public setting. In this meeting, you should be excruciatingly clear and direct about your perception that you're being harassed and say, "In the terminology of Title VII, I do not welcome your sexual conduct."
Depending on his personality, you might incorporate two other points. Unless he's a total boor, educating him about how his harassment made you feel may be helpful. If he has a daughter, you could ask how he would respond if someday his daughter's employer treated her the same way.
Finally, you should tell him if he doesn't stop, you will have no alternative other than going to the human relations department. You might add, "I don't want to take that step, but I'll start there before calling Gloria Allred." You should include a detailed description of this meeting in the notes described in step two.
Depending on how nasty his conduct has been, you may or may not want to add disclaimers about hoping to be able to continue to work together on a strictly professional basis.
Four, if the harasser continues his misconduct, you should write him a memo repeating the substance of the script described above, attaching your notes and reiterating your resolve to involve human relations if necessary.
Sexual harassment and discrimination in an international law firm ignite conflicts in my legal thriller Terminal Ambition, A Maggie Mahoney Novel. Rumblings about these problems unnerve the firm chairman who wants to be named U.S. Attorney General. He establishes a committee to review women's treatment and asks Maggie Mahoney, a female partner, to participate.
The women who suffer harassment and discrimination in Terminal Ambition find ignoring their problems futile. They seek redress in a variety of ways: being direct with the culprit, going through official channels and consulting with plaintiff's counsel.
But, despite their efforts, the harassment escalates and, for one unfortunate woman, leads to rape. The rapist escapes expulsion from the firm by threatening to disclose the chairman's dirty secret. But Maggie Mahoney's discovery of damning evidence forces the issue. In a desperate move to save his nomination, the chairman offers her a position exceeding her grandest aspiration.
If ambition rules, can justice prevail? It's a question all of us must ask ourselves.TerminalAmbition_160ABOUT TERMINAL AMBITION
Maggie Mahoney wants justice for women at her law firm.
The firm chairman wants to be Attorney General.
Only one can win.
Sweeny, Owens & Boyle sits at the top of Wall Street law firms. Brilliant and beautiful, Maggie Mahoney became a partner and the trophy wife of its managing attorney. Her husband's death renders Maggie an outsider with the firm's male establishment and creates a power vacuum.
Obsessed with his dream of becoming the next Attorney General, firm chairman, Andy Anderson, chooses a surprising replacement: Jack Slattery, a reputed sexist. Jack's background hardly qualifies him for such a prominent position. Maggie suspects Jack has something on Andy, but what is it?
Andy's ambition drives him to desperate measures. With proof of misconduct in hand, Maggie demands justice, but it comes at a high price. If ambition rules, can justice prevail?