#MeToo One Year On

The #MeToo movement recently turned one year old. This movement, mostly catalyzed by accusations against former Hollywood movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein, caused millions of women (and men) around the world to step forward and talk about their experiences of sexual assault. Some of those experiences happened on the job, and companies responded to the issue by re-examining their own policies.

According to an article appearing on the SHRM website, most Americans believe that on the job sexual harassment is a widespread problem in the workplace but men do get away with it. Many also feel that HR has a tendency to look the other way or do everything possible to make such situations go away as quickly and as quietly as possible.

The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) released a report which indicated that approximately one in three of all managers of those surveyed changed their behaviors because of the #MeToo movement. Many of them have witnessed firsthand the damage that sexual harassment can cause within an organization and the cultures within the organizations have become more respectful and mindful toward the issue of potential sexual harassment.

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, president and CEO indicated that their recent study showed other potentially negative repercussions which may be due to the increased focus on sexual harassment in the workplace. “There were men who specifically said I will not hire a woman going forward,” Taylor said. Some managers interviewed also indicated that they would not travel with a woman, nor engage in activities after business hours. Because many business relationships are developed after hours, HR professionals have to be especially careful about implementing sexual harassment policies in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

“We can’t let the pendulum swing too far, Taylor said.