October 11, 2019
It is amazing to see the advice industry rally around Alex Chalekian, Sonya Dreizler, and Rachel Robasciotti who all stood up for what’s right. I also commend Chip Roame for his open letter to industry and his efforts through many years to be inclusive. They have all shown true leadership, and this is exactly what our industry needs to facilitate real change. This incident and the giant response makes me hopeful that we can move towards an industry that is more welcoming, more diverse, more large and even greater than before. Here are 3 ways to help us move forward.
- Good men and women should continue to stand up and hold ourselves accountable for what’s right. Speak up when something seems off. Don’t be idle in the face of sexism, racism and harassment. Provide shelter and be inclusive. Our industry will get even bigger and better if good people do this one thing – stand up for what is right.
- Be a safe haven. Victims of sexism and racism often get excluded, cast aside and then leave. Similarly, victims of harassment who complain to HR get shamed or worse, pushed out, losing their future and their livelihood because they spoke up. Good people and good businesses must not let this happen. Be a safe haven on your team or create safe haven in your organization so people can speak up without facing unfair repercussion. Even bigger would be an industry non-profit founded as a safe haven to help with these issues.
- It is time to change the NDA rules and allow exceptions which allow victims of harassment to come forward. NDAs should protect confidential information and intellectual property, not abusive people. As an industry, we need to be aware of the constraints these agreements put on people, and the repercussions they have in preventing the truth from coming out.
With the amount of good this industry has done and continues to do, I am confident that we can work together to make change happen. But that means all of us taking a stand for what’s right.