“To make something good of the future, you have to look the present in the face.”
Simone de Beauvoir
I’m so proud to announce the launch of The Aperta Project, and its first collaborative initiative: The Toronto Tech Study.
As many of you will already know, I’ve been focused on workplace sexual harassment for the last year and half, following the outpouring of stories that the #MeToo movement unleashed in 2017. To me, workplace harassment is not only utterly detestable, it’s an example of the failing of modern management and Human Resources to close the gap between our rhetoric and reality.
If you read this blog with any regularity, you’ll know that I’ve been hip deep in a research project of my own making since last year, with the goal to deepen my understanding of workplace sexual harassment as a systemic problem, how HR is implicated in that system, and what we can do to influence it differently.
That project has continued to pick up steam, and I am so grateful to the many, many people who have generously shared their time and thoughts. These include HR professionals at all levels, survivors and targets of sexual harassment, leaders, lawyers, advocates, and even a couple of scientists. When I waded into this I had no idea that this would lead to the array of incredible, humbling conversations it has, and honestly, I’m just getting started…more on that in the weeks to come.
Culture. It keeps coming up in the conversations I’m having with HR professionals about sexual harassment right now. After writing about sexual harassment last year and launching a related project for 2018, I’m having a lot of these conversations at the moment.
We should talk about culture when we talk about sexual harassment (which I would like us all to be doing right now, with a new humility and curiosity), as long as we’re doing so in ways that are actionable and specific. It’s far too easy for ‘culture’ to be used as shorthand for “I don’t know why, but that’s the way things are here”.