ETHIX360 is headquartered right outside Charlotte, NC. Hurricane Florence has been compared to Hurricane Hugo, which hit Charlotte hard back in 1989. I remember the impact Hugo had on Charlotte and my neighborhood. I knew a lot of people that didn’t think Hugo would hit Charlotte and there was no need to prepare – they were wrong. The mentality of, it won’t happen to us, is a presumptuous and potentially dangerous way of thinking.
This attitude of “it won’t happen to me… to us” is often referred to as optimism bias. People blindly believe that “it” won’t happen to them or “it” wouldn’t happen at their company. And unfortunately, the “it” within many companies can be the denial of sexual harassment would ever occur within their organization. Just because you say something won’t happen doesn’t mean that’s how things are going to work out. The growing list of people accused of sexual misconduct since Weinstein is evidence that cultures of companies aren’t as healthy and prepared as they think.
When an organization has allegations of sexual misconduct, it is a symptom of a broken corporate culture that doesn’t foster an environment that values human dignity. Companies that truly committed to building and maintaining a corporate culture that values human dignity turns words like moral decency, honor, character, and integrity into actions. And those actions must start with leadership and management to successfully disseminate throughout the organization. The tone at the top and the top at the middle are what establish a company’s guiding values and ultimately the culture that holds it together or tears it apart.
Once the leadership has opened their eyes and the vail of the optimism biased has been lifted then an organization can start building a corporate culture that is designed to combat sexual misconduct and ultimately protect their employees and the reputation of their company.
On September 23rd J Rollins, ETHIX360 Founder and CEO, and I will be presenting at the SCCE’s 17th Annual Compliance and Ethics Institute. We will be share what it takes to protect your employees and your organization from sexual misconduct like sexual harassment and how to get your C-suite to champion your efforts. If you’re attending the conference, we’d love for you to attend our session or stop by the ETHIX360 tradeshow booth. If you are not able to attend the SCCE conference but, would like a copy of our presentation simply email me and I’m happy to share.
And for those of you in the path of Hurricane Florence, don’t be one of those people that thinks they don’t need to prepare. Remember it is better to be prepared for something that may never happen, than not be prepared for it when it does happen. Click here for more information on how to prepare for a hurricane.
Stephanie Jenkins is the Chief Compliance Officer of ETHIX360. At ETHIX360, our goal is simple, to provide an affordable, flexible and comprehensive answer to employee communication and case management on issues related to corporate ethics, code of conduct, fraud, bribery, environmental, health & safety and workplace violence. To learn more about ETHIX360, please visit ethix360.com, or follow us on twitter @ethix360 and LinkedIn.