After the first lecture in Aruba about sexual harassment in the workplace, for the Centre for Lifelong learning (CLL), I was not only pleasantly surprised by the warm climate but meanly by the warm welcome of the Aruban people Iâ€™ve spoken to about this subject. It was easy to respond to the request of returning to Aruba and keep this subject on the agenda. Of course I would return to help keep addressing the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace.
To follow up this promise I started to deepen in several researches done the last years in the Netherlands and for example the United States. This to a complete (merge) my personal experience with the theory on how sexual harassment starts, cultural influences, habits, influences of corporate cultures, etc. Understanding the origin of this harassment makes it easier to fight against it. Next to creating awareness I also wanted to share several learningâ€™s so sexual harassment in the workplace can be defined, recognized, prevented or tackled. During the workshop â€˜Keep sexual harassment out of the workplaceâ€™ which I gave to AHRA (Aruba Human Resources Association) I shared my personal experience in combination with other backgrounds, advices, burden of proof, and rights/obligations of sexual harassment in the workplace. An organization like AHRA is crucial for my project, these people can make the amendments needed to create a safe work environment. Again, itâ€™s important for HR managers to know how to recognize sexual harassment so they can control the damage. For both victims and companies.
Approaching sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of the precautionary principle, as well as defining, recognizing and preventing it. Tackling the problem in the workplace is not sufficient, acknowledgement of the problem and the taboo by representatives of several business organizations is also necessary.
The cooperation of all stakeholders during my second visit to Aruba was impressive. Especially the affirmation of the Minister of Social Affairs, Paul Croes, willing to be associated and informed is of deciding importance for the success of my project here in Aruba. Many organizations that Iâ€™ve spoken to in August / September, like trade unions, educational institutions and organizations for the wellbeing of the Aruban population, have indicated to cooperate with this project so the subject sexual harassment in the workplace will stay to the attention in Aruba.
To top it all, I was able to hand-over my book â€˜Spitting on Hansâ€™ tostiâ€™ to Prime Minister Mike Eman. Mainly the fact that he was familiar with the story and thanked me for my dedication, made me feel pleased. I ended my stay in Aruba with a short introduction of my workshop â€˜Keep sexual harassment out of the workplaceâ€™ and my book to the students of the educational institution IPA. A brief learning about sexual harassment in the workplace and how students can be confronted with it during their traineeships. How they can help prevent sexual harassment from happening by sharing this knowledge with their pupils.
To conclude underneath some impressions of my activities during my visit to Aruba. Partly thanks to the cooperation of Minister Paul Croes Iâ€™ll return quickly to proceed with my project so Aruba will get a safe work environment, a work environment without violence, aggression and (sexual) harassment.