Workforce Wednesday- How sexual harassment from Mad Men exists today
By Nick Shekeryk
At its core, the popular AMC drama, Mad Men, was a show portraying the dark and corrupt world of high-powered advertising agency executives in New York City during the 1960s. The high-functioning, booze-swilling, chain-smoking, extramaritally-fornicating men of Sterling Cooper were part of a workplace culture that deemed these acts not only normal, but they were also encouraged.
The award-winning show also captured the trials and tribulations of the agency’s women who endured this unruly behavior while under the thumb of men who treated them like objects rather than people. Though society has come a long way since the ’60s, some things have remained the same— and one of them is sexual harassment of women in the workplace. But thanks to a recent increase in public awareness, many organizations are actively making a change to protect employees from this particular brand of on-the-job misconduct.
According to a 2016 report from the EEOC, at least 25% of women have experienced sexual harassment at work— and that’s just in the United States alone. This means no less than 1 in 4 women have fallen victim to some aspect of either having their job being contingent upon providing sexual favors or they have faced a hostile work environment due to sexual misconduct.
In our new, progressive world that supposedly promotes equality for all, why are so many women still being harassed in the workplace? The enforcement of zero-tolerance policies and mandatory sexual harassment training have been helpful, but we still have a long way to go. The era of Mad Men may still be somewhat present in today’s society, but if we continue the conversation about it, we can get closer to making it nothing more than a sad tale from our past.
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