I am a female partner at a mid-sized accounting firm. About a six months ago, one of my male partners was walking past me and slapped my butt with a notepad. He immediately apologized. I don't think it was a sexual thing, but it made me feel uncomfortable. I have some other things that I am talking to HR about as it relates to the way that men treat women at our firm. If you were me, would you put this on the list?
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It depends…was it just a complete accident/gut reaction that he immediately felt very sorry for and has no record of this behavior in the past? I would let it slide, personally. But if this is a pattern of behavior and/or he did not immediately show remorse and apologize then I would bring it up. If you’ve heard of other women he’s done this to then I would FOR SURE bring it up. But imo there’s not necessarily a need to make this a big thing if he truly felt terribly and it was a one-time out of character mistake. Just my two cents — do what you feel is right!
“Gut reaction”? Ugh. Men must take responsibility for their actions.
I’ve had similar experiences with both male and female partners (I’m a straight male). I’d feel uncomfortable bringing something up with HR that I hadn’t first tried to address partner to partner first. And I would want to penalize someone for an inadvertent mistake. But if it’s a pattern or if I thought there was bad intent, I’d be on the phone to HR immediately.
I would bring it up.
If the reaction from HR is that this is a first offense then it is on record.
If it turns out it is a pattern of behavior and you don’t share you out the firm at risk.
Imagine that a staff brings action against the firm and you get deposed and have to share this. Makes it appear that you are hiding the behavior.
Protect the firm at all costs.
Depends. Does he do the same to men? I had a female partner (I’m male) continually slap my thighs when we were sitting at client tables together for years. Just took it as her personality.
I think you answered your own question then.
Male here. Yes. It's wrong. The fact it made you uncomfortable just shows It's wrong. If he slapped his notepad on your arm or shoulder fine (ot maybe not...), but on your behinds? Wrong.
I would likely take it to head of ethics.
It was 6 months ago. You should have addressed it directly with him then. Coupled with that and the fact that you said he immediately apologized and you said you think he views it like a fist bump, and he hasn't done it again, I would hope you would leave it alone, or discuss directly with him. Signed OMP
P4 - both sound a bit dramatic. It is simply that someone else earlier said " talk to your office managing partner" and so I was simply sharing my view as an OMP. My key point is that I would hope any of our partners would feel empowered to discuss it directly, immediately, with their fellow partner.
Yes, this is unacceptable and should be discussed.
I’m curious here, is a partner to partner issue an HR item or is it a discussion with your office managing partner? If it was partner to employee, it’s 100% HR.
Not for nothing - seems to be a lot of PwC input on this topic…
Certainly over the last few years the tolerance of bad behavior of partners at PwC has gone to zero.
Most specifically if you know partners who have run afoul of the rules, the repercussions are swift. Even if your behavior is not the problem, you don’t want to know about a situation and not report it.
I would report. You are a partner and you felt uncomfortable by this behavior, as would I. The impact on a staff would be multiplied. That is a risk to your firm from a legal and retention standpoint, and it is not the type of environment you want to create to help the next generation grow and thrive.
It is a lack of respect. Needs to be reported. He would not do that to another man.
If you felt uncomfortable then you need to tell him first before going to HR
Thank you everyone who has responded! I forgot to mention that later that same day, my 15 year old daughter stopped by the office. The last time she met him was when she was 4. While I was talking to her, he said “you’ll never believe what I did to your mom today.” And then he told her the story while he was laughing about it. On our way home, she said she thought it was a really random and weird conversation. She didn’t know how to respond….
I’m curious why you are thinking about reporting this now six months later. Have you been worried about it for six months? Is your daughter asking whatever happened to that guy? Is he still making you uncomfortable?
You are a partner and an adult. Why didn’t you address it directly with him? What is your purpose of reporting / outcome you are hoping for?