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.
Anderson 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 are not tolerated in the work place, especially where Iowa’s laws are made.
As #metoo takes the country by storm and empowers others to step forward, Anderson 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, Anderson is advocating to end victim shaming 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.
Anderson has a degree in broadcast journalism from Northwest Missouri State University. Her professional experience includes running a nonprofit, 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 Leadership Institute Board of Governors member. She is currently President-elect of the local chapter of the Association of Women in Communications.