Ben Triplett, assistant director in the housekeeping services department at UNC and a defendant in the lawsuit filed last week, attended the talk because he wanted to learn ways to encourage women to be successful in his department.
“Most of our department is women, but we have challenges internally in terms of trying to encourage women to apply for and seek leadership positions,” Triplett said.
In his lawsuit, Clifton Leon Webb, a former zone manager in the housekeeping department, said Bill Burston, the former director of housekeeping services, would fire black housekeepers to hire Asian housekeepers, who would reciprocate with sexual favors. In his lawsuit, Webb said he was fired for giving this information to his supervisors.
Anne Litwin, author and consultant, visited UNC on Tuesday to speak about ways women can work together to make workplaces more inclusive. The talk was based off of the findings from her new book, “New Rules for Women: Revolutionizing The Way Women Work Together,” which aims to help people understand the gender dynamics that influence women’s workplace relationships.
The talk came at the onset of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which begins today.
Litwin believes many groups, including people of color and young people, face issues of inclusivity. Her talk was mainly focused on how women can strengthen their relationships.
“I don’t want to say that there’s something wrong with women — it’s very complicated,” Litwin said. “The society that we’re in and the organizations that we’re in really, in a way, kind of set us up against each other. But if we can’t see that, then we can really act out and make things more difficult for each other when it doesn’t have to be that way.”
Debbie Bousquet, assistant facilities planner for Housing and Residential Education, attended the talk with a man she directly reports to at work.