What are the costs of sexual harassment?
Companies have long known that sexual harassment can lead to costly lawsuits. But since the explosion of #MeToo and the fall of Harvey Weinstein, the costs of misconduct have grown. Today, harassment is no longer just a cultural or legal issue, but a financial and brand issue that reaches every corner of the company. That means that no matter how good your training and reporting may be, they’re no longer enough.
Story after story has shown that when a brand loses authenticity over sexual harassment, they also risk losing their hard-won earnings. Uber has lost nearly 15% of its market share over the two years of its harassment scandals. After it was announced that Steve Wynn had received multiple allegations of sexual harassment, Wynn Resorts lost $3.5B in company value.
Your company should be armed and prepared to deal with toxic behavior as well as the brand damage that results when people hear about it. Companies are owning up to faults and taking action faster than ever when CEOs misuse their power. If you turn a blind eye to identifying and preventing toxic behavior, you’re risking more than legal fees and turnover—you risk irreparable damage to your market share, merger outcomes, and your name…
TV and film studios are scrambling for ways to protect themselves from the controversy and expense of a social media scandal, without having to actually read through thousands of old tweets. The proliferation of digital content has outpaced the industry’s tools for staying on top of it all, leaving companies wondering what to do—and who will be next.
With Roseanne's scandal costing over $60 million in lost ad revenue and Gunn being just the latest star to run into financial and reputational losses over online content, it has become clear that Hollywood has deeply entrenched issues when it comes to screening and managing stars for reputational risk online. At this rate, the industry is slated to lose over $1 billion in the next year over social media issues alone.
Shouldn’t companies be able to mitigate risk up front, before another high-profile social media or sexual harassment scandal arises…?
Standard background screening methods can help uncover and verify some valuable info. They help ensure that a candidate actually went to certain schools, worked for certain companies (with the correct titles and at the correct times), and didn’t commit criminal offenses. Depending on applicable state laws and company interests, they may also help spot drug usage and excess spending. With all these methods in the tool belt, why are we still on edge about who we’re hiring?
The reality is that traditional background checks don’t catch everything they should. Even when all of your background checks have done their jobs correctly, none of these checks will accurately predict a proclivity for criminal, toxic, or unprofessional behavior—and that means a clean ‘background check’ may still miss indicators of trouble to come.
While you might feel that your screening methods have been sufficient, the truth is there might be more falling between the cracks than you realize. In a time when companies in all industries are at risk, companies need a new safety net for their hiring process to capture massive volumes of user-generated content, and internal systems to manage a complex workforce that can make or break their company…
In the popular imagination, sexual harassment evokes images of men who ask women on dates and can’t take a hint, or powerful male bosses who request sexual favors from less powerful women. But the scope of unwanted remarks and behaviors go well beyond instances dealing directly with sex.
The term “sexual harassment” can lead to an poor understanding of the full range of abusive workplace behaviors. What is sexual harassment? Sexual harassment stems from highly subtle, interconnected, and systemic behaviors that can be both sexual and nonsexual. Without a proper understanding of how harassment works, it’s easy to miss things that don’t immediately escalate but pull the thread and set genuine sexual misconduct in motion.
In the face of such social and cultural complexity, the temptation is to ban all references to gender, sex, class, and other potential points of controversy. However, we’ve seen that banning all of these behaviors can sometimes cause more harm than good. In fact, discrimination lawyers have said that such sweeping prohibitions tend to be unhelpful and can even inhibit the elimination of workplace harassment…
Influencer marketing has skyrocketed in the last 10 years. Since the arrival of social media, companies have witnessed the rise of a new personality called the influencer. With the ability to engage fans online and offline, influencers can drive purchasing decisions more powerfully than ever thought before. Companies clamor for influencers because their ads look authentic: rather than send a traditional ad into the news feed, brands can have influencers share a post of themselves using or endorsing the company’s product.
With an ability to connect with niche audiences and drive purchase decisions more quickly than most digital ads, influencers are an advertiser’s dream. However, that doesn't mean it's safe to dive right in. In their search for stars who bring in millions of dollars, many brands have foregone due diligence, which has led companies to spend thousands of dollars and hurt their brands in the process. Why does this happen? In part, it’s because only 29% of influencers are asked about their audience demographics. But to more fully understand how influencers can hurt your brand, we need to understand their motivations…
Interested in knowing the full costs of influencer risk? Download our Media & Entertainment risk packet here.