Keep Quiet About an Offensive Comment?

by admin 10. June 2014 10:15

Dear Jane,

I was recently at a firm lunch and one of the partners in the group I was chatting with before lunch made an "awkward" comment that offended me as a woman. I did not do anything at the time, nor did anyone else. First thing I did when lunch was over was go to see my best friend at the firm and tell him about the comment.

Sincerely,

Wish I Had Said Something 

Dear Wish I Had Said Something,

You did say something; you made sure your friend knew about the comment. Unless you talked to your friend to get the courage to "report" the comment to the office managing partner, your mentor or your diversity officer, you are part of the cultural problem. I understand why the fear of the retribution or of being considered "too sensitive" or "not a team player" may have kept you from saying something at the time the comment was made, but you need to understand that by doing nothing about the comment except gossiping, you become part of the problem yourself.

Jane DiRenzo Pigott is the managing director of R3 Group LLC, specializing in working with professional service organizations on leadership and change in connection with diversity and inclusion. Before founding R3 Group, she practiced law for more than two decades at large law firms where she chaired a practice group, served on the executive management and compensation committees, and founded and ran diversity initiatives and affinity groups.

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Dear Jane | Office Politics

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