“Shift Happened,” A Discussion of the #MeToo and #TimesUp Movements


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By Sascha Matuszak
Reporter, SCCE|HCCA

On March 9th, Jen Farthing, Chief Learning Officer, and Marsha Ershaghi-Hames, Managing Director of strategy and development at LRN, presented “Shift Happened,” a discussion of the #metoo and #timesup movements at SCCE’s New York Regional Compliance and Ethics Conference. The presentation focused on the role of social media as the great equalizer in the confrontation between employees who are fed up with harassment and bullying, and corporate office culture, which has not adequately addressed these issues in the past.

“Sexual harassment, assault, discrimination and disrespect in the workplace is not a new issue,” wrote Ershaghi-Hames and Farthing in an email to SCCE. “What has shifted is the very public dialogue that is unfolding before our eyes. The quick and swift action around brand reputation is palpable, no longer are corporations waiting for 60 advertisers to drop before terminating an executive.”metoo.jpg

It’s a shift that has been a long time coming. According to LRN, the vast majority of employees (83%) think their companies would make better decisions if they were to follow the “Golden Rule,” and 59% of employees think their organizations would be more successful when taking on their biggest challenges if their leadership had more moral authority. Until the fall of Weinstein and other big names, and the ensuing social media campaigns that evolved out of these scandals, employees had to rely on internal checks and balances that all too often protected those in power, rather than those who needed it most.

The speakers unpacked the shift that is occurring right now, in which victims are going public with their grievances and forcing corporations to take swift action and invest in cleaning up toxic pockets within their corporate cultures. One of the recommendations they gave to corporations that want to effectively address sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace is to have the Chief Compliance Officer report directly to the Board of Directors, instead of the CEO.

The presentation was part of SCCE’s regular regional conferences. The conference included discussions on the regulatory landscape surrounding sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace, and how to maintain compliance when dealing with third parties.

For more information about this event and others, visit our site at www.corporatecompliance.org or contact us at 952.933.4977