Takeaways, dry-cleaning, dog-walking, heating. All things that you can now control with your phone. You’ve heard the old adage, ”There’s an app for that”. Well, now it seems that there are even apps to help you report sexual harassment in the workplace.
The #metoo movement has placed the issue of workplace harassment right at the forefront of public attention. Almost every day in the news there is a story of some brave celebrity or everyday employee, calling out their abusers. This is forcing companies to take the issue seriously.
There’s only one problem. Reporting harassment takes a lot of courage. Many employees may not come forward for fear of retaliation or repercussions on their career.
To counteract this a number of companies are now turning to apps to make the process easier according to the WSJ.
New tech startups like Bravely and We Said Enough are leading the way. These apps outsource some human resources functions to algorithms or neutral third parties who deal with employee complaints and offer advice for people dealing with harassment.
Another platform called Blind which works as an anonymous chat room for tech workers has also added specific forums where workers can discuss sexual misconduct.
It’s hard to imagine employees sitting around the staff room table at lunch talking about such matters so is the anonymity of these apps the key to their success?
Probably. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have their flaws.
Apps can empower people to speak up but they can’t tackle the company culture and management issues that can lead to sexual harassment.
In a similar vein, companies may struggle to balance employees anonymity while trying to deal with complaints efficiently.
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