How the #MeToo Movement is Changing Sexual Harassment in Corporate Culture

Sexual harassment in the workplace is, unfortunately, nothing new.  Women have had to endure unwanted verbal or physical abuse on the job for centuries. While there has been an increase in awareness and restitution – from the coining of the term “sexual harassment” in 1975 to Anita Hill in the early 1991 – the problem is still prevalent today.

The #MeToo movement is the latest cultural event that brings light to the unacceptable, yet widely practiced, sexual abuse of women in the workplace and everyday life. Despite its historic prevalence, this instance of heightened media attention around sexual harassment is different from previous instances. That’s because of widespread adoption of the internet and social media.

What has been hidden behind closed doors can now be easily exposed to the public.  This increased transparency is having an especially large impact on corporate culture and companies like Uber and Netflix are taking bold efforts to make a stand.

Complaints about sexual harassment in the workplace not only create internal problems but can also tarnish your brand image. Plus, holding your own culture to high standards is a vital part of operating a creative, productive and profitable business.

It’s also hard for companies to keep scandals from consumers. What used to be a monologue from brands to consumers, is now a lucid dialogue. It follows that increased access to information fosters heightened awareness around corporate social responsibility. And this influences consumer behavior. In fact, 76 percent of consumers would boycott a brand if it doesn’t support values they believe in.

The risk of consumer backlash is causing companies to reprimand unacceptable sexual behavior in the workplace and get very clearly about their zero tolerance policies for the future. Recent instances of sexual harassment in business culture offer valuable lessons for corporate leaders looking to build an internal environment of diversity and inclusion.

Here are 3 lessons from big brands on how to address sexual harassment in the workplace:

1. Foster a culture of transparency accountability:

Open communication is a vital aspect of any efficient businesses. Transparency and accountability not only help build purposeful corporate culture, but also strengthens your brand image to in the eyes of conscious consumers.

In response to the #MeToo movement and the Harvey Weinstein scandal, advertising personality Cindy Gallop encouraged people who have experienced sexual harassment in the industry to step up and share their stories “naming names.”

In further protest, Gallop lead a Twitter boycott in retaliation against the social media platform’s suspension of Rose McGowen. McGowen was temporarily banned from using Twitter because she released a telephone number in relation the Weinstein debacle.  Instead, the brand could have supported McGowan’s public outreach while maintaining classified information private.

Gallops actions show that if you aren’t transparent about sexual harassment in the workplace, other people will eventually come out and disclose the truth. Further, brands should encourage safe ways to take action and hold aggressors accountable, rather than stifling the voice of victims.

Ultimately, coming from a place of honesty and accountability is a vital step in addressing sexual harassment or other inappropriate workplace behaviors.

2. Clean house:

While transparency is necessary, cleaning house of sexual aggressors – no matter their status – is a powerful signal to employees and the general public. It shows that there’s no tolerance for sexual misconduct or the abuse of power for personal enjoyment within your brand.

Although it happened before the #MeToo movement, the resignation of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and the Uber sexual harassment accusations, is an impactful example that shows how a lack of purposeful leadership can lead to brand crisis and personal job risk.

Ultimately, by connecting the financial well-being of employees, executives and partners with their social conduct, you can help foster a culture of safety and respect necessary to build a purposeful and efficient business.

3. Choose purpose-driven partners:

Not only is it important to ensure your core team members work to build a culture of inclusion, but it’s also paramount to cultivate partnerships with people that share your values.

Silence is consent. If you are working with an individual or organization that perpetuates unacceptable behavior – be it sexual harassment or a different social or environmental harm – you are essentially part of the problem. So a great way to clean your hands and showcase your commitment to purpose is to choose socially conscious partners.

An example of a brand that cut ties with core partners over sexual harassment misconduct is Netflix. The network ended numerous shows – including House of Cards and Louis C.K’s planned movie – over sexual harassment allegations. Clearly, Netflix does not tolerate sexual misbehavior and is showing that to their community and the world in a big way by cutting big productions.

The key takeaways are that social media is changing the way employees and consumers interact with brands. In turn, brands are changing the way they do business to reflect how they want people to perceive them. This fundamental difference in today’s society makes the #MeToo movement especially influential on women’s rights and sexual harassment in the workplace. To foster a purpose-driven culture of inclusion and productivity you must encourage transparency, accountability and connect business decisions with core brand values.

What’s Next for the #MeToo Movement?

More than nine months have passed since the #MeToo Movement opened up a much-needed conversation about sexual violence, gender equality, women’s human rights, and other related issues…

One courageous person at a time, the wounding that has been happening in the shadows is now moving into the light — creating a larger collective wave of healing, reconciliation, and social change.

And yet… there’s still a long journey ahead as we address the concrete shifts needed to move reforms forward in a significant and permanent way.

(This pathway forward was a primary topic of conversation during Shift Network’s recent #MeToo Dialogues. See below!)

In the months since the #MeToo movement began, many of us have experienced a constant onslaught of media sound bites around stories of predation and abuse. Yet there have not been enough public spaces for deep and raw dialogues, where we can more fully understand the implications of the complex stories that are emerging… and shine the light on the path moving forward.

It has been powerful to witness the many individuals that have found their voice as part of this collective sea change, and we need to encourage these new voices to continue speaking out in new and powerful ways.

But we now also need to marry these powerful words and stories with powerful action. Dr. Astrid Heger, another speaker in our dialogue series, finished her dialogue with a provocative question: “How do we energize the women in this country [and beyond] to take charge and make things happen?… All of the changes we’ve been able to bring about, they came from women…”

Women who feel inspired to take action would be wise to support the institutionalization of these changes by making significant legal shifts in the U.S. and beyond, as Marisa Tomei points out in her video interview below. And women can also lead the way by helping create policy shifts at organizations in every industry.

In addition, we need to seek out media that shares the stories of more women of color, as well as transexuals and gender-nonconforming people, who are not equally represented in most mainstream media.

It’s time to end the cycles of victim blaming and shaming, and instead offer witnessing, support, and resources for the ongoing healing journey.

And then, of course, there are the day-to-day shifts we can each make as we navigate the world.

If you feel the call to be part of this evolution, here are three powerful steps you can take right now from three leaders on the front lines:

  1. Dismantle the social and structural barriers to ending sexual violence.  

Tarana Burke, Civil Rights Activist, Founder of #MeToo Movement, reveals how to remove the social and structural barriers to equality and empowerment:

  • Continue to offer empowerment through empathy for survivors who need to be witnessed as part of the healing journey.
  • Dismantle the ecosystem that has allowed sexual predators to thrive.
  • Institutionalize this work so it’s sustained beyond a hashtag and beyond this moment of visibility.

2. Work to change the laws and provide access to funding.

Marisa Tomei, Academy Award-winning zctress and producer, shares her perspective from working within #TimesUp’s legal committee and on the key legal changes and ongoing support that are needed to create lasting change:

  • Change the statute of limitations so women are able to litigate sexual violence crimes (and other crimes) that occurred in the more distant past.
  • Continue to provide needed funding for victims to access the support they need through the #TimesUp fund and other vehicles.
  • Pass the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S. so women living in this country will have the equal status we’ve never had under law. As unbelievable as it is, this legislation has not been ratified by enough states, so women don’t legally have equal rights under the U.S. Constitution.

3. Embrace a long-term strategy for social change.

Eve Ensler, playwright, performer, producer and activist, shares her wisdom gleaned from decades of work dedicated to end sexual violence — and reminds us that each new movement builds upon previous ones.

  • Be patient, as movements don’t just happen overnight! They take years of trust, friendship, listening, being criticized, being on the front lines… and more.
  • Honor the women who have come before us and build alliances with them. Integrate their wisdom, knowledge, and energy instead of brushing them aside.
  • Trust women on the front lines and take our lead from them.

Everything you need to know about MeToo

You will find thousands of movements and MeToo is one of them. It is one of the most popular movements against the harassment and sexual assault as well. Most of the people are sharing their thoughts about MeToo on the social networking site. According to professionals, Metoo has been reached to the Asian workplaces. Most of the people are promoting MeToo everywhere. With the help of this law, they are providing additional protection to the women’s. According to professionals, most of the women’s are sexually harassed. Nowadays, thousands of women’s are affected by the violence.

Nowadays, most of the people are sharing their views about #MeToo for South East Asia – SFW. According to professionals, more than 3000million women’s are harassed sexually that is quite higher than others. It has been launched in October 2017. Therefore, most of the people are using the hashtag on the social networking sites. On October 15, 2017, Famous TV actress Alyssa Milano promoted to the MeToo. With this article, we have listed some important information regarding MeToo.

What is really MeToo Movement?

It is especially movement that is dealing against the sexual violence. If you are following this rule properly, then you can remove the sexual harassment case from the world. It is available from last several years, but it has gain attention after some allegations. In 2016, Hollywood Famous actress harassed sexually. It is one of the best rules that is giving voice to the people.

Who started the MeToo movement?

In oct15, 2017, Metoo has become a powerful movement. After 2017, most of the people started sharing movement on the social networking sites. Almost more than 66000 users share MeToo movement on social media.

What is the exact time of it?

Most of the people are sharing their thoughts regarding MeToo movement. Nowadays, most of the companies aren’t making any difference between girls and boys. They are providing equal responsibilities to men and women. However, most of the departments are solving workplace issues.

Impact of MeToo Movement

Thousands of nations are following MeToo movement. Firstly, it is tweeted by Milaon on October 15, 2017. After that, it has become one of the most popular on the Internet. More than 5 million people have posted MeToo phrase on the social networking sites. According to professionals, it has become a legal movement.

Sex workers

After two years, they have included sex workers and trafficking in the MeToo movement. Most of the American Journalists are promoting this movement on the internet. However, according to professionals, MeToo movement related to the pornography.

What about pornstars?

It has become one of the most popular movements in the world that are providing enormous benefits to the women’s. Most of the pronstars have cliam that, MeToo is offering numerous options to movement. With the help of this movement, one can learn from his biggest mistakes. Make sure that you are sharing #MeToo for South East Asia – SFW. Make sure that you are following this movement properly.

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