After all these years of speaking up about harassment, bulling, sexual harassment I am disappointed to read about how these problems are continuing. The good thing, and I like to focus on the positive, is that people are no longer remaining silent. The bad thing is that victims suffer, the trauma can ruin their careers, families suffer and the businesses suffer from damage to their reputation.
It is bad for business to think anyone, no matter the money /salary, the power position in the company, the ‘leadership’ role, to foolishly believe they have the right to harass and bully their employees, to sexually harass women. The disregard, disrespect for their co-workers and women is a sign of their true character. Time to grow up!
The article details, the need for a code of conduct set of rules suggested by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and the recent allegations of several instances of sexual harassment by a prominent venture capitalist, Justin Caldbeck managing partner of Binary Capital, and on Friday afternoon he was on a leave of absence.
Hoffman’s post suggested “the technology industry – and the complex spider’s web of relationships within it – needs to agree on what he’s called a Decency Pledge, a code of conduct most would consider to just be responsible, professional behaviour, but in the technology business apparently needs to be hammered home.”
“Mr Caldbeck responded to the allegations on Friday afternoon. “The past 24 hours have been the darkest of my life,” he said in a statement first reported by Axios. “I have made many mistakes over the course of my career, some of which were brought to light this week. To say I’m sorry about my behaviour is a categorical understatement. Still, I need to say it: I am so, so sorry.” He said he apologised for contributing to a “gender hostile” environment. “The power dynamic that exists in venture capital is despicably unfair,” he continued. “The gap of influence between male venture capitalists and female entrepreneurs is frightening and I hate that my behaviour played a role in perpetrating a gender-hostile environment. It is outrageous and unethical for any person to leverage a position of power in exchange for sexual gain, it is clear to me now that that is exactly what I’ve done. He said he apologised for contributing to a “gender hostile” environment.
Workplaces can change when everyone sees the benefits of a respectful policy that includes everyone no matter the rank structure, salary and position of power. Everyone loses when harassment is allowed to continue.