I’m a director of development at a top creative agency. During my five and a half year tenure with my previous company, I tripled our team in size and successfully generated more than 50% of the company’s total revenue. During this time, I created a network of positive client relationships, assembled an incredible team, and substantially expanded our company’s capabilities. But it wasn’t long before things took a turn for the worse. While I wasn’t sexually harassed, it doesn’t take an incident of sexual harassment to turn your top performers away.
When I first joined the company, I felt as if I had won the lottery. I couldn’t believe I found what I believed to be the perfect environment for me—an unconventional, high performing creative workplace, with a tight-knit team and a start-up mentality free of the corporate red tape and play-nice politics that had constricted me in other environments. With ambitions of success for not only myself as a salesperson, but for the business as a whole, I was excited about growing the company’s revenue and making a direct impact on the lives of the people around me.
The new role started out great. I was given leeway that I never thought a “traditional” office environment would allow—for example, I was granted the ability to paint my entire office pink based on sheer personal preference. We’d be taken out to dinners and given gifts on birthdays, and from the outside looking in, it seemed like a dream job at this stage of my career. My manager seemed to beam with pride in grooming me to be his star pupil, and I couldn’t have been more excited to grow and contribute in the role.