ST. PAUL, Minn. – KARE 11 asked Peggy Andrews, management professor at the Hamline University School of Business what has led to the chorus of voices in the #MeToo movement, and what will it take to create safe workplaces for women in the post-MeToo era.
She spent 25 years in the human resources field before her current position leading the MBA program at Hamline University.
“Just collectively I think we are at an interesting nexus point, where people can talk about what is happening to them and not feel isolated in doing it,” said Andrews.
She says it starts with the impact of new digital media.
“I'm not an expert on the Anita Hill situation but she had to seek out a pathway to tell her story versus now people can tape themselves and go viral quickly,” said Andrews. “It lives onto infinity on the internet, what happens is we have these repeated narratives so now a woman who might think ‘gosh something happened to me’ in this this individual isolated incident sees a broader narrative around it.”
Andrews points to more safety nets at work, with more workplaces evolving have conversations and concrete action when it comes to sexual harassment.
“We have developed a language of differences so it's not just a monolithic language of the good old boys’ club. Workplaces are being much more intentional around having a culture of respect, and they are backing that up with formal policies, they are training their employees,” said Andrews. “Then, there's actually consequences, which makes people feel safer in coming forward.”
Last, in our culture, the importance of an ally has risen to the surface.
“We have this terminology of an ally, we have people that don’t fall into category of harasser or harassed, they are people who are witnesses, speaking up they see this behavior going on,” said Andrews.