Skip to main content

Student Groups Host Open Discussion on Ways to Combat Workplace Harassment

Considering current culture, when each day seems to bring a new discussion of workplace harassment, Boise State’s Women of the Workplace group, along with the Student Nurses’ Association and the Pre-Law Society, are hoping to open public discussion channels on campus.

The groups will host “Creating a Collaborate Climate in an Evolving Workplace,” from 4:30-6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, in the EMBA Classroom, Room 4100 in the Micron Business and Economics Building.

“This is a relevant conversation, but one we’re trying to keep on the positive side,” said Shelle Poole, an assistant professor in the Department of Management and the faculty advisor for Women of the Workplace.

Shelle Poole

Idaho State Rep. Melissa Wintrow, former director of the Boise State Women’s Center (now the Gender Equity Center), will facilitate the discussion.

“We’re putting the emphasis on students creating a space where they can share, explore and put some ideas into practice,” said Wintrow. “This is an opportunity to raise awareness for people of things they might not have thought about, or maybe have an ‘aha’ moment about something they’ve seen, or even said, or done.”

Hopefully, attendees will leave more tuned in to what harassment is, and to the various forms it takes.

“Most women are familiar with harassment, but some men are not; even when it is happening to them,” Poole said. “We want to have inclusive workplaces where all individuals feel free to ‘bring their best selves to work.’”

Melissa Wintrow

Students and other attendees will have the chance to identify slights they’ve experienced, whether that’s assumptions made based on gender, or culture, or more direct affronts like cat calls and inappropriate jokes. Attendees will brainstorm in small groups to come up with new ideas for creating inclusive workplaces. There will be a break-out group just for faculty. All participants will convene at the end of the program to share their best ideas.

“I’m excited to see what our students come up with. They are so creative and thoughtful,” Poole said.

The Women in the Workplace group student club started last year to address workplace challenges and opportunities.