Paradigm launches a new type of training on sexual harassment in the workplace
Hello, Broadsheet readers! This is Paige McGlauflin, replacing Emma. Rent the Runway is laying off workers after losing thousands of subscribers, Phoenix Mercury owner Robert Sarver is suspended from the NBA for a year, and a company is changing the way employers approach sexual harassment training.
– New paradigm. Training on sexual harassment was a workplace since the end of the 20th century, yet more than 40% of women and 16% of men reported victim of workplace sexual harassment in 2018. That’s why Paradigm, a diversity, equity and inclusion consultancy, is launching an online course that aims to address anti-harassment training as a core DEI programmatic element to help preventing toxic cultures in the workplace, rather than as a superficial check of the box.
Existing training focuses too much on legal compliance and preventing illicit sexual behavior that could land the company in hot water, says Joelle Emerson, founder and CEO of Paradigm. This type of training can also be triggering for survivors of sexual assault.
Take the brake light frame, for example. Training officials basically use the analogy that a green light is behavior that is considered legal, a red light is illegal, and a yellow is behavior somewhere in between.
“Someone told me that in a training he attended, the host said something like, ‘You have to tell an inappropriate joke, so you better make it good.’ The idea being that if you tell a joke, it’s yellow. But if you start doing it often, it’s red,” says Emerson. When organizations handle anti-harassment training in such a casual way, it can send a damaging message to employees that the company does not take workplace harassment seriously and cares more about avoiding lawsuits than creating a positive and inclusive work environment for all employees.
“It doesn’t have to be,” said Emerson. “It doesn’t need to be packed with your phishing scam training. Instead, it should be alongside training focused on [designing] inclusive and equitable organizations, and it should be built by experts who know how to do it.
That doesn’t mean companies should ignore compliance—Paradigm’s training meets compliance requirements in all 50 states, and compliance logs are available for HR, DEI, and legal teams—but rather that they should go beyond compliance. beyond passive participation programs which require the strict legal minimum. Paradigm’s training takes a trauma-informed perspective, which means it assumes a person is more likely to have experienced trauma than not, and warns all participants at the outset that the material covered can bring up unpleasant emotions. The training also provides those who observe harassment with practical tools to address it as it occurs.
“What we want to see are people who can engage in behavior change. We don’t just want people to say, “Ah, that was interesting. We want them to say, “I know exactly what to do next in this situation,” says Emerson.
The training is led by DEI experts and a lawyer and combines expert videos, what-if scenarios, case studies, and more. Companies can combine the course with other training Paradigm has to offer, including those on alliance and microaggressions.
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– lose track. Shares of Rent the Runway fell 24% on Monday after the designer clothing rental platform announced it lost more than 11,000 subscribers for the quarter ending July 31. non-hourly employees as part of a restructuring plan. Bloomberg
– NBA suspended. The NBA suspended Robert Sarver, owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, for a year and ordered him to pay $10 million after an independent investigation found he used racial slurs and sexually harassed female employees. Sarver is also prohibited from visiting NBA or WNBA facilities during his suspension and must complete a training program focused on workplace conduct. Bloomberg
– Money is power. The UN once pledged to achieve gender equality globally by 2030, but that may not happen until 2108, according to a new report from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As the pandemic has weighed on women’s progress, efforts to close the economic inequality gap have focused more on empowering women instead of giving them the resources to access power, says Melinda French Gates. Fortune
– $47 billion opportunity. Graphic design platform Canva launches a set of professional tools, including collaborative documents, website creation and data visualization, that will rival pillars of workplace collaboration such as Google documents, Microsoft Office, and Adobe. The launch opens the Australian company, led by co-founder and CEO Melanie Perkins, to a rapidly growing productivity management software market valued at $47.3 billion. Fortune
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Hamilton Lane has appointed Christine Brandt Human Resources Director. Fformer Head of GM EV Network Integration Kelly Helfrich joins software-enabled clean energy service provider Resource Innovations as vice president of its electric vehicle practice. Orangetheory Fitness named Kelly Lohr Marketing Director. Sonia Millson joined healthcare executive search firm Oxeon as CEO. The Royal Bank of Canada has appointed Lauren Sclafani and Mila Popova as directors of its US equity sales office. Obsidian Security appointed Reena Choudhry as the very first Chief Revenue Officer. Jessica Coenformer chief content officer at Morning Brew, was named News Movement’s first US editor.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
– Forced out. A Starbucks employee in Buffalo who has helped lead organizing efforts over the past year alleges the company forced her to quit in retaliation for her organizing efforts, according to a charge filed by the union Tuesday night. The employee alleges the coffee chain refused to accommodate her availability and scheduled her when she was unable to work so that she would be forced to quit. The coffee chain refutes this claim, saying it balances scheduling needs with business needs. New York Times
– In the race. Non-binary runners can now participate in the Boston Marathon without having to register in the men’s or women’s division. However, the Boston Athletic Association has announced that it does not have enough data to establish qualifying times specifically for non-binary runners, and applicants will need to adhere to qualifying times for the women’s division at this time. boston globe
– National abortion ban. Senator Lindsey Graham on Tuesday proposed a bill that would ban abortions in the United States after 15 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest or risk to the mother. It’s not the first time Graham has proposed a national abortion ban – he introduced a bill banning abortions in the last 20 weeks in 2021 – but with roe deer overturned and Democrats facing potential medium-term losses, Graham may have more strength to push his legislation through. Axios
– Use of DNA. A woman is suing the city of San Francisco after her DNA from a rape kit provided to police in 2016 was used to arrest her for unrelated retail theft last year. The woman said the city police department engaged in an “unconstitutional invasion of privacy” by placing her DNA in a database used to identify possible suspects without her consent. New York Times
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