No longer acceptable | Guest View
A couple of weeks ago, two women came to our City Council meeting to talk about three public lawsuits filed by three women.
Two of the women named in suits worked for the Edmonds Police Department, and the other, a civilian, had been sexually assaulted by an on-duty Edmonds police officer. (Editor’s note: That officer was convicted and sentenced to jail.)
The point of their comments had to do with not just sexual harassment, but in general a pattern of three lawsuits by three women.
As a woman who has spent the last 30 years serving on local, statewide and national boards that represent women, particularly in the workplace, I can tell you that SOME of the indicators that are measured when looking at male-dominated work sites are:
• Equal pay for equal work;
• Benefit packages;
• Retirement packages; and
• Equal access to time off.
In addition, you can consider the following:
• Are men working in traditional female jobs?
• Are women working in traditional male jobs?
• Are there departments that have only women working in them?
• Are women in leadership positions, or are they in administrative positions, and how many men who applied are promoted vs. women who apply?
• Are women referred to in derogatory terms such a honey, sweetie, darling, gal or girl?
• Are jokes, comments and "goofing around" about women chalked up to, “It’s just kidding"?
• Are women asked to do traditional female jobs such as making coffee and cleaning up?
The workforce and acceptability of behavior has changed dramatically in the past 15 to 20 years.
What was considered funny and acceptable then just isn't now.
Perhaps an answer to these questions is warranted as we move forward, not just for the Edmonds police staff, but also for the taxpayers of our city, who end up footing the bill for these lawsuits.
Adrienne Fraley-Monillas is an Edmonds City Councilmember.