The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is reporting a 50% increase in claims of sexual harassment from 2017.

While you might be surprised to see numbers this drastic, now the #MeToo movement is in its second year, it puts the potential influence of the movement into perspective.  It’s not surprising that the heighted awareness about sexual harassment, driven mostly by #MeToo, has created an environment where employees are more emboldened to report incidents of sexual harassment and sex-based discrimination.  The EEOC is reporting recovering $70 million for victims this year, up from $47.5 million in 2017.

What does this mean for business?  At minimum, it is essential for companies to have in place clear, written policies to address discrimination and harassment in the workplace.  However, it’s not just policies that need to be evaluated, more than ever, companies need to ensure that adequate training for employees and managers are in place to identify and address sexual harassment, gender bias, and diversity issues.

Eric Bachman, said in a Forbes article, “Companies are looking to reduce and address sexual harassment not simply because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it drives away talented employees and impacts the bottom line.”  The era of sexual harassment policies and training merely “checking the box” has passed for businesses.  In the age of #MeToo, organizations will have greater pressure to do more.

Jessica Gendron is President of The Center for Leadership Excellence and an expert on sexual harassment, gender bias, and diversity in the workplace.  

The Center for Leadership Excellence: Experts focused on providing online education to help organizations do all they can to identify and address issues of inappropriate sexual innuendoes, diversity, gender bias and sexual harassment within their workforce.  Please contact Jessica at or 317-264-4119 to learn more.
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