The Tipping Point of Social Change in the Workplace

Whether you’re a sports fan or not, I hope you heard about the ESPYs last week. They are the annual awards given by ESPN to athletes of all kinds, across all disciplines.

Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, Tiffany Thomas Lopez and Sarah Klein at the 2018 ESPY Awards (Image: Bigstock)

What made the ESPYs so particularly moving on July 18, 2018 was the Arthur Ashe Courage Award given at the end of the show to the survivors who spoke out about the abuses they endured by their team doctor – some at Michigan State and some because of USA Gymnastics. Seeing 141 of these women on stage together was incredibly powerful. It brought the entire audience of athletes and VIPs in the auditorium to their feet.

It takes your breath away to know that there are even more women who were not on the stage at the ESPYs. These 141 are only part of the army of survivors left in his wake.

At PeopleResults, we have partnered with our clients to help address the #MeToo movement in the workplace. It has crept into every aspect of society – not just sports.

We have helped our clients:

  • Write communications so employees know where and how to report incidents which violate company standards and values. Sometimes employees are comfortable going to HR with these concerns. Sometimes they are not, and a neutral 3rd party is needed.
  • Roll out company-wide eLearning on ethics, compliance and incident reporting, which can be tracked using their learning management system.

If you haven’t listened to it already, my colleague Erin Peterson interviewed Gretchen Carlson for her podcast, Big Fish in the Talent Pool. Gretchen was the unintentional founder of the #MeToo movement. In the interview, Gretchen talks about her book, Be Fierce. As Erin points out, Gretchen’s audacious and passionate goal is simply this: to end the all too common harassment and assault women experience in the workplace.

For each of us as individuals, I’ll close with Gretchen’s advice that we can all remember: If you see something, say something!

For the workplace, think about: What can your organization, your department, your team do differently? What have you already started doing as a result of the #MeToo movement? At PeopleResults, we would love to hear your stories.

Betsy Winkler is a Partner at PeopleResults. She can be reached on Twitter @BetsyWinkler1