Austin, Texas affiliate television stations KXAN (NBC) and KVUE (ABC) recently interviewed Austin HR’s co-founders and managing partners Laurie Howell and David Hughen, on the topic of sexual harassment in the workplace. From KXAN —
The pair (Howell and Hughen) says usually their company sees businesses reach out after an instance of harassment or assault for help handling the issue. However, they say in the midst of the nationwide conversation regarding sexual assault, more business leaders are being proactive.
These are companies that may have traditionally not thought to reach out, Howell noted.
“People of high profile are losing their jobs,” Howell added. “That’s a sobering moment for a manager in a company.”
Austin HR is seeing an influx in businesses asking for help in training managers and employees to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. The pair says small and medium sized companies across Austin are asking for guidance and training. Austin HR offers training for both managers and employees. For those in power, the company trains in how not to overstep their boundaries. Training for employees focuses on reporting sexual misconduct.
“Sometimes, having an outside third party come in, people are a little more comfortable to bring things up,” Howell said.
Hughen says that Austin’s business climate is unique, with many start-ups that mostly employ and are run by millennials who tend to communicate more casually. “That blurs the lines,” he said.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is nothing new, Hughen noted, but it’s top of mind now, which is creating change. “There’s some processing going on,” he said, “And in and of itself, these stories are educational moments that are happening.”
Hughen also says it’s the right time of year for raising awareness. Companies are planning out their goals and employee programs for Fiscal Year 2018, and many are opting to include sexual misconduct training in the coming year.
Find out more about KXAN’s coverage by following this link: Austin-companies-ask-for-help-preventing-sexual-misconduct-in-the-workplace
Find out more about KVUE’s coverage by following this link: Austin-HR-talks-harassment-following-Matt-Lauer-allegations