Posts tagged with "#MeToo"

The moral high ground: Japanese woman leads worldwide campaign to wear flats at work

June 13, 2019

It’s high noon in the workplace: Women are gunning for a change in office dress codes that would enable them to work—and walk—in comfort.

Indeed, according to a report by The Guardian,  millions of women worldwide, at all levels of the workplace hierarchy, continue to endure their working hours tortured by blisters, bloodied flesh, foot pain, knee pain, back pain and worse, as a result of the pressure to conform to an aesthetic code—sometimes explicitly written into contracts or policy, more often subliminally expected as a societal and cultural standard—that deems it appropriate to wear high heels.

Now they are pushing back, in a campaign called #KuToo—a a play on the words kutsu, meaning shoes, and kutsuu, meaning pain, in Japanese and inspired by the #MeToo movement.

In early June, Japanese actress and freelance writer Yumi Ishikawa told reporters that she and her supporters had met with the Labor Ministry, “Today we submitted a petition calling for the introduction of laws banning employers from forcing women to wear heels as sexual discrimination or harassment.”

Ishikawa had the idea for the campaign after she was forced to wear high heels during a stint at a funeral parlor.  Now, she has everyone debating the politics of footwear—and has received a groundswell of online support.

But not everyone is a fan: Takumi Nemoto, Japan’s health and labor minister, defended the dress codes, telling a legislative committee that he believed it “is socially accepted as something that falls within the realm of being occupationally necessary and appropriate”.

The Guardian notes that a similar petition against high heels at work was signed by more than 150,000 people in the UK in support of the receptionist Nicola Thorp, who was sent home from work on her first day of work at a PwC in 2016 for wearing flat shoes. The case prompted an inquiry on workplace dress codes by a committee of MPs, which highlighted other cases in the UK where women were required to wear heels—even for jobs that included climbing ladders, carrying heavy luggage, carrying food and drink up and down stairs and walking long distances.

However, Britain never changed the law, claiming scope for redress already existed under the Equality Act 2010.

In 2015 the director of the Cannes film festival apologized for the fact that women were being denied access to the red carpet for not wearing high heels. Cannes kept the dress code, despite a protest by the actor Julia Roberts, who went barefoot the next year.

However, in 2017, Canada’s British Columbia province banned companies from forcing female employees to wear high heels, saying the practice was dangerous and discriminatory. That means things might be looking up—err … down.

Research contact: @guardian

Both Kavanaugh and #MeToo accuser are willing to testify to Senate Judiciary Committee

September 18, 2018

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said on September 17 that he is willing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee to address the accusations of a woman who alleges that, when they both were teenagers, he sexually assaulted her at Georgetown Preparatory School in suburban Washington.

According to a report by The Hill, Kavanaugh in a new statement called the woman’s accusation—framed in a letter given to the FBI by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California)—a “completely false allegation

“I have never done anything like what the accuser describes—to her or to anyone,” Kavanaugh said. “Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.”

The federal judge said he would speak to the Judiciary panel “in any way the committee deems appropriate” in order to “defend my integrity.”

Kavanaugh was spotted by television cameras walking to the White House shortly before his statement was released, The Hill reported, noting further, “

It is the latest sign the White House is digging in as his nomination has been thrown into turmoil.”

Initially reluctant to reveal her identity, Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University in California, went public on September 16 with her accusation, because, she said, she believed it was her “civic responsibility.”.

She told The Washington Post that she thinks the alleged incident took place in 1982, when she was a 15-year-old sophomore at an all-girls school in suburban Maryland. Kavanaugh, who attended an all-boys school, would have been 17.

At an off-campus party, she encountered Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge—whom she said had been drinking earlier and were very drunk—when she went upstairs to use the bathroom after having one beer.

She said she was pushed into a bedroom and Kavanaugh pinned her to the bed and tried to remove her clothing, while both boys laughed “maniacally.”

When she tried to scream, she told the Post, Kavanaugh held a hand over her mouth. I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” she told the Post. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

Eventually, Ford said, Judge jumped on top of them, and she managed to get free and lock herself in a bathroom. After she heard the boys “going down the stairs, hitting the walls,” she told the news outlet, she made it downstairs and out the door, but doesn’t remember how she got home.

Ford’s attorney said on September 17 that her client is also willing to testify publicly about the charges.

“She is. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to get her story forth, yes,” Debra Katz, who is representing  Ford, said on NBC’s Today  show.

Despite denials from Kavanaugh and the White House, several senators have voiced concerns about moving ahead with the nomination before hearing from Ford, The Hill reported.

No polls on the Kavanaugh SCOTUS nomination have been released since news of the letter’s contents was reported over the weekend.

Research contact: @jordanfabian

Nike ‘just does it,’ giving 10% of employees raises

July 25, 2018

Athletic footwear and apparel giant Nike intends to raise salaries for more than 7,000 employees and change how it awards annual bonuses to its global staff in an attempt to address concerns about pay equity and corporate culture, CNBC reported on July 23.

The company decided to overhaul its compensation practices after conducting an internal review of its pay practices earlier this year, the business news network said. Nike said about 10% of its employees—both men and women—will receive adjustments to their pay to ensure equal and competitive compensation for the same job functions around the world, according to an internal memo reviewed by CNBC. The company has about 74,000 employees worldwide.

“With movement of internal talent, and the demands of a dynamic market, we analyze pay each year. This year, we have conducted a deeper analysis of all roles, at all levels globally,” the memo said. The company said its benefits program is designed to “support a culture in which employees feel included and empowered.”

The company said bonuses now will be based on company-wide performance instead of a combination that also included team and individual performance, beginning in fiscal year 2019.

Like several other U.S. companies, Nike got caught in its own #MeToo movement this spring after a group of women circulated an informal survey that examined disparities in pay and advancement at the Oregon-based company. Several senior male employees resigned. In May, Nike CEO Mark Parker apologized to employees for cultivating a corporate culture that excluded some of its employees and did not take complaints about conduct seriously.

Changes to compensation are just the latest attempt from Nike to improve its corporate culture for women. Nike appointed Amy Montagne as vice president and general manager of Global Categories and Kellie Leonard as its new chief of Diversity and Inclusion. Hilary Krane already is on the list of the company’s top executives as EVP, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel.

Research contact:  @laurenthomasx3

36% of U.S. workers are having an office romance

February 2, 2018

Is the current #MeToo moment in our society driving down the number of office romances? Based on the findings of CareerBuilder’s Annual Valentine’s Day Survey—conducted by The Harris Poll and released on February 1—office hook-ups are at a ten-year low, with 36% of workers reporting dating someone at their place of employment, down from 41% last year.

Thirty-seven percent of men say they have dated a co-worker compared to 35% of women.

“Office romance is experiencing a dip,” said CareerBuilder’s Chief HR Officer Rosemary Haefner. “To avoid negative consequences at work, it’s important to set ground rules within your relationship that help you stay professional in the office and keep your personal life private.”

Indeed, she points out, before getting into a relationship in the office, it may be best to avoid two types of workers—those to whom you report and those who report to you.

Twenty-two percent of workers have dated someone who was their boss at the time. Of those who have dated at work, more than one-quarter of women (27%) say they have dated someone who was their boss compared to just 16%. Additionally, 30 % of workers say they have dated someone who was at a higher level in the organization than they were.

Of course, some relationships that start at work have a happy ending: Thirty-one percent of workers who dated at work ended up getting married.

However, it’s not always happily ever after. Nearly one-quarter of workers (24%t) had an affair with a colleague when one person involved was married at the time (27% of men versus 21% of women). Six percent of workers have left a job because a romantic relationship with someone at work went sour (9% of women versus 3% of men).

Haefner recommends these tips for workers exploring a romantic relationship with a coworker.

  • Check the rules. In some cases, employers have a policy that prohibits employees from dating one another.
  • Keep your personal life out of the office. Keep your personal life out of your work one—and beware of social media. While 41% of workers today choose to keep their relationship a secret at work, posting on social media may make it much more difficult to keep from your coworkers.
  • Don’t let your romance impact your relationship with your coworkers. If you don’t properly separate your romantic and work life, your romance may color people’s judgment with regard to promotions, projects, team building and responsibilities.

This survey was conducted online nationwide among 809 employees ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) .

Research contact: Rachel.nauen@careerbuilder.com

54% of Americans polled say #MeToo

November 4, 2017

Over half of Americans (54%) say they have personally experienced an unwanted verbal or physical sexual advance, Reuters/Ipsos said last week, after polling 1,832 adults nationwide.

As the #MeToo movement, started most recently by actress Alyssa Milano, continues to grow, the Reuters/Ipsos poll explored the social impact of the hashtag—and the overall numbers of Americans who said they had had a personal experience with unwanted sexual advances and assault.

While a limited number (about 16%) actually had engaged with the #Me Too movement online, the answers to questions about personal incidents came through loud and clear. In fact, 54% answered yes, when asked whether they had ever experienced an unwanted verbal or physical sexual advance.

When questioned about whether the unwanted advance came from specific people in their lives, the respondent answered “yes” in the following percentages:

  • A boss or authority figure at your job? (Yes-15%)
  • A coworker or colleague? (17% )
  • A friend? (15%)
  • A family member? (12
  • A romantic partner(14%)
  • Other? (18%)

Ipsos conducted the research from October 20 through October 24, on behalf of Thomson Reuters. For the survey, a sample of roughly 1,832 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online in English.

Research contact: chris.jackson@ipsos.com