“Outing Sexual Harassment 2.0 –Financial Industry Women (And Men) Speak Out!”, held on Monday, October 29, was a tremendous success! The event helped raise the level of awareness and discourse on sexual harassment in the financial services industry within the FWA.
The panel discussion portion of the evening was moderated by Stephen Zweig, co-chair of the Men’s Alliance Committee and an attorney at FordHarrison LLP, where he leads the Firm’s executive compensation practice. The panel consisted of four esteemed and worldly panelists who reported on the FWA’s own sexual harassment survey and addressed the next hurdles for the #MeToo Movement, including:
- Why employees are so fearful of complaining to anyone about sexual harassment and why they believe that HR is not their friend.
- The perception that sexual harassment is inextricably linked to the gender gap in salary and promotions and advancement of women in the workplace.
- The concern that a backlash will develop as men become more and more defensive in the context of the #MeToo movement.
- Why measures such as anti-sexual-harassment training and a “zero tolerance” policy are not enough to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace.
Following the panel discussion, several courageous audience members spoke publicly about their own personal sexual harassment experiences, in some cases for the first time. One audience member noted that she had assumed that surviving a sexual assault by a co-worker was a “necessary job skill”, but the group all agreed that surviving a sexual assault, and tolerating sexual harassment, should absolutely not be a “necessary job skill” for anyone in any industry.
The next challenge will be to explore how the FWA and the Men’s Alliance Committee can continue to meaningfully educate women, men and young people about these challenges. Stay tuned!