The #MeToo movement has had a major impact on businesses across America. Many powerful men have been accused of sexual harassment, and worse; the resulting fallout has included PR disasters, personnel shakeups, and a good deal of unrest among women in the workforce. Fixing these issues is not easy. One corporation is emerging with a strong playbook, though.
According to The New York Times, Nike has come out with a bold new plan to make changes following allegations of workplace harassment and bias. Mark Parker, the company’s chief executive, called employees together for a 30-minute address in which he pledged to remove the men behaving inappropriately and create a new culture of transparency that should prevent future cases of sexual misconduct.
“While many of us feel like we were treated with respect at Nike, that wasn’t the case in all teams,” Parker said at the meeting. “I apologize to the people on our team who were excluded, and I apologize if some of those same people felt they had no one to turn to. I want everyone at Nike to know their voices do matter and your bravery is making us better.”
Parker’s speech came five days after the Times talked to 50 Nike employees and released a major exposé detailing how women had felt “marginalized, harassed and stymied” within the company. Parker responded swiftly, announcing that he would be reviewing the company’s HR processes and working to regain the trust of women in the company. Nike is now operating a special hotline that allows women to report issues with sexism at work, as well as coordinating internal investigations on misconduct that’s reported.
Long-term, Parker’s hope is to make Nike a more collaborative workplace and give everyone a chance for their voices to be heard. He also plans to be make Nike a more transparent company with regards to workforce representation and gender wage disparities, two other major issues that women are facing in today’s business world.
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