#Metoo. This is a hashtag that many of us recognize. Originated by Tarana Burke, the movement was an effort toward working to build solidarity among young survivors of harassment and assault. Though she started this in 2006, the hashtag came to Hollywood’s attention when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted about the movement.
Burke encourages the focus to be on people of different class and race and gender. It is important to her that the discussion is not seen as too much. She wants to show the world it matters.
Are workplaces really changing?
While #MeToo may be considered a workplace revolution, recent news brings attention to a dark secret that is a hidden danger in the workplace. In response to the accusations involving Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and others, more reports of sexual harassment in the workplace have emerged from women and men. Influencers have an essential role in leading the wave of people who speak out. As actresses share their stories, women from many walks of life may be empowered to share their own.
For major corporations, harassment can be considered a reputational risk that affects business. According to the New York Times, it may be impossible to tell how workplaces are increasing their efforts as many do not want to talk about it publicly. Discussing the issue publicly may be admitting to not doing enough in the past.
What can companies do to address the issue of harassment?
In the workplace, companies may want to organize training that goes beyond traditional harassment courses. The changes to this training could give employees confidence that sexual harassment would be handled differently. Additional training may teach employees how to speak up with confidence that they won’t be silenced. A change in the culture of the workplace may be a step toward making a safer environment. Though the conversation is just beginning, the media attention #metoo has gotten in Hollywood has called for change.