Sexual harassment has been an unfortunate reality for women in the workplace, for as long as we can remember.
Women face many hurdles when trying to combat this problem. In order to make a women’s workplace more safe and to prevent male colleagues from harassing them, we need to ensure that they are armed with proper information and the legal know-how’s.
A new online resource called BetterBrave, has been developed in the United States to help women take action against sexual harassment at work. The simple website breaks down U.S. laws regarding workplace harassment into easy-to-understand language, and provides resources for women who experience sexual intimidation at their jobs.
BetterBrave also provides several options for women to report harassment, and provides a clear outline of their rights. It also includes the to-do’s before reporting such an incident to HR, such as importance of immediately consulting an employment lawyer.
Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Grace Choi, Tammy Cho, and Annie Shin created BetterBrave after former Uber employee Susan Fowler allegedly experienced sexual harassment during her time at the company. In a recent post, Choi says the women were troubled by Fowler’s experience, and even more troubled to know her situation was indicative of a larger problem.”The moments after being sexually harassed are confusing and overwhelming, and there’s alarmingly little reliable information available online to help.”
After months of research and communication with hundreds of workplace professionals, including targets of harassment, HR departments, employment lawyers, and CEOs to understand sexual harassment in the workplace, they created this guide on what to do if you are harassed or witness harassment.
“When you’re sick, most people know you’re supposed to go see a doctor,” Choi writes. “When it comes to sexual harassment, however, the first step is not so clear to the vast majority of people we interviewed. The moments after being sexually harassed are confusing and overwhelming, and there’s alarmingly little reliable information available online to help.”
According to the National Women’s Law Center, at least one-quarter of all women have experienced workplace sexual harassment. But the majority of those women (70 to 90 percent) don’t make a formal complaint out of fear and shame.
Reaching women who are trying to cope with the aftermath of harassment is important for their well-being, regardless of when or if they decide to report the problem behaviour.
The website also ensure women are able to connect with reputable lawyers in all 50 states, who provide consultation for free. These lawyers have partnered with BetterBrave to be on-hand, available to answer questions about a woman’s specific circumstance.
The site’s creators have plans to release a guide for allies soon, detailing how coworkers and managers can be workplace advocates for women who are being harassed.