Senior leaders preview new combined SAPR/EEO training

By DLA Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency senior leaders participated in the agency’s first combined sexual assault and sexual harassment training July 27. The in-person training was the first to combine these similar but distinct annual training requirements for supervisors.

“Nothing destroys morale more than an environment where sexual harassment or sexual assault is tolerated in the workplace,” said DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell K. Williams. “It is very hard to talk about these two elements in silos. Having them trained together gives you the continuum of the spectrum of harassment and assault.”

Unwanted sexual advances can mean different things to different people, according to the training. The joint training fostered discussions of the differences between harassment and assault, along with the considerations for supervisors when dealing with these kinds of situations.

The training focused on the differences between assault and harassment; their negative impact on DLA’s command climate and mission; and the roles and responsibilities supervisors must fulfill when dealing with sexual harassment or assault in the workplace.

A key element of the training focused on the continuum of harm that leadership must understand. Our goal should be a healthy environment absent of harm or fear of harm. When sexual harassment enters the workplace, low morale, reduced productivity and performance, a loss of trust in leaders and potentially lawsuits will follow.

Assault, characterized by physical contact, can lead to the same decline in the workplace. However, the primary difference is that sexual assault is a crime, and harassment a form of workplace discrimination.

Senior leaders in the agency, including the director, actively participated in the 90-minute class. “This training is important for our supervisors and employees,” Williams said. “If I can find the time to take this training, everyone can.”

DLA’s SAPR Office is working with the DLA Equal Opportunity Office and DLA Human Resources to get this training into the agency’s system that tracks and records employee training . “But until [then], we’ll conduct in-person training, ” said Renee Ferranti, DLA’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program manager.

DLA organizations that want to meet the annual requirements for supervisor training for both EEO and SAPR may contact either the DLA EEO Office or the DLA SAPR Office.

Office contact information:

DLA SAPR Office program manager: 571-767-2625

DLA EEO Office Staff Director for Operations: 571-767-1112