Kirsten Anderson is a passionate communicator who found herself an unlikely advocate for those facing harassment in the workplace after she took a stand against her former employer: The State of Iowa. On May 17, 2013, she was fired from her job after five successful years as Communications Director for Iowa Senate Republicans. Kirsten was fired seven hours after formally complaining about repeated harassment and retaliatory behavior by staff and lawmakers at the Iowa Statehouse. She sued the State of Iowa and Iowa Senate Republicans for wrongful termination, harassment, and retaliation and was awarded $2.2 million by a jury of her peers. This rare award sent a message to the Iowa statehouse that harassment, intimidation, and retaliation is not tolerated in the workplace, especially where Iowa’s laws are made.
As #metoo takes the country by storm and empowers others to step forward, Kirsten is working to stand up for what’s right and support others who have experienced harassment in the workplace. She is determined to see all workplace harassment end in her lifetime through education, victim support, and continued dialogue. In order to ensure a safe working environment, Kirsten is advocating to end victim shaming, empower others, and start a conversation on the issue. Harassment doesn’t simply happen to women and everyone deserves to work at a place free of offensive and retaliatory behavior.
Kirsten has a degree in broadcast journalism from Northwest Missouri State University. Her professional experience includes running a non-profit, working as a communication coach and trainer, and managing an award-winning professional development program. She is a 2008 Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute graduate and former member of the Leadership Institute’s Board of Governors. She is currently President of the local chapter of the Association of Women in Communications and owns Equitas Solutions, a full-time harassment-free workplace consultancy. In her free time enjoys sharing the hilarious random things her nine-year-old son says and enjoying live music with her husband.