Working Women React to National Harassment Allegations - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Working Women React to National Harassment Allegations

Posted: 11/29/2017 23:12:00 -05:00 Updated:
Patty Preston styling a client's hair. Patty Preston styling a client's hair.

SALISBURY, Md.- With recent sexual harassment allegations against some famous and powerful men gaining national attention, some people on Delmarva say the workplace is getting better, but there's still more work to be done.

Patty Preston has been a hairstylist for 26 years.  She says that the hair industry might look like it's female-dominated, but in reality it's largely men at the higher levels. 

"The hairdressers that are in the spotlight are male," Preston said. "And it does, it takes years of putting yourself out there in this industry to really get to that position that they're in.  And you have to fight 10 times harder." 

Preston said with recent allegations against people like Charlie Rose, Kevin Spacey and now, Matt Lauer, people are finally talking about something that has been going on for decades. 

"It's definitely improved, but I think that women have more of a voice now than they did then so I think that probably in the next five years or so, hopefully sooner, you can see a change," Preston said. 

Stacy Leone is a business owner who says age is likely a factor in why some things are being swept under the rug. 

"I think when you're younger, for both men and women, you kind of ignore and keep it under the table because you're afraid," Leone said. "But as you mature you get more comfortable in your role and in your capabilities.  I think that empowers women or empowers anyone who was mistreated to stand up and say 'You know what? That was wrong.'"

John Cannon is a flight attendant on the other side of the coin: he is a male in a predominantly female-dominated industry.  He said he's often mistaken for a pilot, which is frustrating.  Cannon said work-based gender stereotypes are something that needs to change. 

"There's no such thing as a woman's job anymore.  Everyone does everything. There's no such thing as a man's job anymore.  A woman does whatever a man can do," Cannon said. 

At the end of the day, Preston said it comes down to having mutual respect for both men and women in the workplace. 

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