I’ve been meaning to blog about all of the harassment charges that have appeared in the news. Every morning I would get up with a plan to talk about the latest person accused. And almost every morning it seemed as if there was a new person to talk about. I quite simply could not get ahead of the avalanche of claims.
There were, after all, so many lessons to be learned from each allegation.
Rather than try to address them all at once, let me start by saying that employers should be looking at cultural shifts, not isolated responses to a particular claim.
After all, if the corporate culture is such that all people, regardless of gender, are treated fairly, employers will be looking at far fewer claims of harassment or discrimination. If employers need more proof of this, all they have to do is look at the companies where the corporate culture is the opposite of fair.
Before there was a #metoo campaign trending on Facebook and Twitter, there were allegations against companies, like Uber, that the male executives not only ignored complaints of harassment but set a culture that “high performers” were untouchable as far as bad behavior was concerned. These allegations were detailed in claims first made by Susan Fowler, but the scandal has become far more encompassing than just her claim.
I have noticed a weird reaction by some people I talk to who know I do harassment training for clients. Most have assumed that this means that more clients are looking to do training, and those people would be correct.
The perplexing response I have gotten from others assumes that employers are too scared to open a can of worms and are probably not looking to schedule training. Hopefully, none of you fall in the latter camp.
Now is precisely the time to have training. This is true even if you think that your company does not have a harassment or discrimination problem. If you are right, then the training merely reinforces the positive corporate culture. If you are wrong, then you can begin the process of correcting behavior and getting issues brought to light before your company becomes the latest headline.