Hello Team -
This month I’d like to touch on a very important and troubling issue that has been in the news a great deal recently. If you have a social media account, I’m sure you may have seen the hashtag #metoo that recognizes the frequency of harassment in our society. After reading, listening and reflecting on the countless encounters of sexual harassment it dawned on me, as a white male, how sheltered and naïve I have been to this issue. While watching a news program on this topic with my wife last week, I asked Adrienne if she ever encountered harassment of any magnitude. I was surprised to hear her response and saddened that we had not discussed this topic in the past. The women who are speaking out today are incredibly brave, and I’ve been reflecting on how we can all do more to increase awareness for and support against these inexcusable acts.
This is not just a women’s issue. To make a true change in our society, we all must take an active role. It’s important for us to acknowledge and change behavior, hold each other to higher standards and show respect to everyone we encounter. We must teach our sons what respect means and encourage our daughters to demand it. I was amazed to find out recently that 87 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 25 have experienced at least one form of sexual harassment thus far in their lifetime.
As you know, I have two teenage sons who, I believe, we have raised to be respectful through the examples we have set in our house and in public. However, it dawns on me that I can do more to prepare them to be leaders for their generation. I realize now that we need to talk about this issue more directly and make sure that they are not only treating women respectfully, but also asking that of their peers, and calling out and defending others when they see trouble.
At OneDigital, we strive to make sure that we all “walk the walk”, not just on this issue of sexual harassment, but also to recognize the broader importance of diversity in OneDigital’s culture. So, with that in mind, I’d like for us to take some actions here that I think we can all be proud of.
- I’ve asked E to lead a couple of internal initiatives in 2018:
- Required training on unconscious bias and sexual harassment for all (currently only our managers are required to take harassment training)
- Building a Diversity and Inclusion task force to advance this effort at OneDigital
- I've also made the decision to sign the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge to make sure that we cultivate a trusting environment where all ideas are welcomed and employees feel comfortable and empowered.
This is an important issue and one that I would like to see OneDigital take head on. Culture has always been at the forefront of who we are as an organization and I’m extremely proud of the culture we have built to date. Continuing to take actions to ensure a safe working environment and striving to build more diversity within our teams is something I know we will all be proud of. Thank you all for joining me in our efforts to BE respectful, not just with the opposite sex, but with everyone you encounter.