By: Lauren Garczynski
In 2006, the ‘me too’ movement was founded to give hope and support to survivors of sexual assault. However late last year, the viral #MeToo hashtag emerged and generated both a national and global conversation about sexual violence, methods to combat assault and support survivors and how to introduce systemic change. As the world has witnessed, no profession nor person is immune to falling victim, however, as one of the sessions I attended at conference discussed, there are ways to promote measures in an organization to help combat and prevent this worldwide travesty in the workplace.
The session, #MeToo and Other Smoldering Crises, was led by Deborah Hileman, President and CEO of the Institute for Crisis Management, which operates to assist and guide organizations through preventing and mitigating crises. The session dove into the numbers and statistics behind #MeToo regarding organizations, as well as how #MeToo has impacted organizations from the inside and outside.
On a personal note, while I found the session to be informative and the statistics to be alarming as well as imperative, at times I thought the points discussed by Hileman almost teetered on viewing #MeToo as a problem organizations need to fix, rather than the problem of sexual violence and sexual assault in the workplace. I think Hileman had thought provoking research and data, but the way she presented and framed her information almost made me uncomfortable, as if PR practitioners need to work against #MeToo rather than combat the and work against the individuals who have perpetrated the reasons for the necessity of #MeToo.