I was the first EEO Officer for Holden’s Engine Company. When I started, the female participation rate was 4.9%. After several years of strenuous effort, it rocketed to 6.2%.
The only way I could make a dent on the 40 years of pornography covering every vertical surface was to bring employees’ daughters in for Year 10 work experience. The porn vanished overnight.
I was ordered to provide a sexual harassment information session on one days notice. When I accepted, I found a dildo in my drawer and was informed that a sex movie was going to be projected onto my presentation screen to disrupt the session, which was then cancelled by the manufacturing manager who’d ordered it.
When a star female employee reported harassment to me on condition of strict confidence, I was threatened with dismissal for not betraying her. I stood my ground and kept my job. The woman left soon after, her grievance unresolved.
Fighting this intractable male culture was one of the most frustrating and depressing struggles of my life.
Quotas are anathema to me (and many of the authors I’ve read). I can say from experience, however, that if you’re waiting for men to ‘get with the program’, you’re in for a long, long wait.